i remember when i was little, being excited to get on the road. We all loved to read & my parents usually made sure we were well stocked up with books before a long road trip. Yeh, we'd scrap & pick at each other sometimes, but we'd listen to a lot of music... (Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, Kieth Green, Roger Whittaker... & even a little Sloan Family Album) My dad would pick my mom up a black licorice cigar when he'd stop for gas.
A trip meant escape from school, from any obligations: my paper route, my annoying grade 6 homework & my room that was always a mess... (yes, i thought this way when i was little... *freedom*) & it usually meant fun with cousins...
As i was preparing for our road trip this time, it occurred to me that there was a lot that went on behind the scenes...
As i phoned Moll's school to let them know she'd be absent, rearranged their fiddle lessons, made sure Cai didn't have coaching, cancelled our produce bin and caught up on all the laundry and cleaned the house - the thought crossed my mind that a certain amount of work goes into travelling with 6 little ones.
As i made a mental check list: bathing suits, violins, suitcases, toothbrushes, snacks for the road, Charter and Peyton's readers, a few math drills that i don't want to leave for a week & don't forget their music books... i realized that maybe it's easier to stay home... As i ran out of time & had to leave my dining room floors messy & ran furiously around the house shutting off lights and grabbing my wallet, jacket and Gagey's shoes... i almost panicked - sure that i was forgetting something important & that maybe i should have just volunteered to stay home - Neil was just being nice letting us tag along on a business trip... maybe i should have just left well enough alone.
But then... i heard the door slam shut behind me & i felt... a sudden sense of release. i saw Neil turn the key in the lock & i went to our little van (likely our last trip where we'll fit in the little one...)
It was the crack of dawn (Neil's favourite time to travel in) & i was greeted with a warmed seat & giddy little ones. Sloan & Cai each clutched their new novels, Sloanie had Dragonwings and Cairo had Pride and Prejudice & they were both eager to get started. Neil had his satellite radio ready to go - & we knew breakfast was coming at the first stop an hour away...
i closed my eyes & sighed.
We were on the road.
Everyone i loved most in the world bundled up in our little Honda van. A jubilant expectant feeling in the air as we pulled away from our little homestead & out towards our little adventure.
Maybe 's not so bad... & maybe that feeling of freedom being on the road never completely goes away.