Have you ever made a decision and then regretted it? Have you ever been super excited about a plan only to be momentously deflated by a sudden turn-of-events? Have you ever thought that the Universe is working against you or perhaps punishing you for a lifetime of bad choices?
Have you ever taken two small children on a five-state road trip? In a thirteen year-old Honda Accord?
I have. And for a moment there I truly thought it was going to be the very worst decision in my stint as a parent.
We had been planning this road trip for several months. Those in attendance would be my family of four, my brother and sister-in-law and two nieces, and our neighbors and family friends. There would be five adults and 8 kids traversing our way across the desert with our ultimate destination being the beautiful state of Colorado. Some friends had moved there a few years back and agreed to host our motley crew for a couple of days. Brave, brave people.
While planning our trip, we decided to take full advantage of our vacation time and take a side trip to Moab, Utah, home to some truly gah-geous red rock landscapes and one amazing (read: not mine and therefore automatically more restful) rental house. And, knowing we were looking at an approximate 18-hour drive it was determined we would need to leave at 2:00 a.m.
That’s 2:00 in the morning. You know? Like a couple of hours after midnight? A few hours before dawn? An insane time of the day to go anywhere?
Realizing we would have to get as much rest as possible we finalized our packing and hit the rack. At 9:30p.m. Jeremy promptly fell asleep and I promptly….laid there. Awake. Recounting all of the packed underpants and toothbrushes. Working the next day’s schedule through my frenzied mind. Telling myself I should fall asleep because I only had 4 hours left…3 hours left…2 hours left…1 hour left…oh, screw it! I tumbeld out of bed at 12:30a.m. and hit the shower with the express purpose of leaving at 2:00 a.m. with really good hair if not utterly sleep-deprived.
A short hour-and-a-half later we were loaded up in the car and cruising out of the neighborhood, our GPS (Wendi…Jer named her and specifically requested her name be spelled with an “i”) already anticipating our arrival time in Utah. Admittedly, it was a little daunting to be leaving my home before the paper boys are even out and about and some tart of a machine reminding me that we would not arrive to our desired destination until that night?
However, that said, there is nothing more energizing than the excitement over a vacation so we hit the road with gusto knowing that the kids would fall back asleep and Jer and I would sit peacefully in the front seat holding hands and talking about our expectations for the trip.
Except they didn’t. And we didn’t.
The kids were wide awake. Did I mention it was 2:00 a.m.? Watching Toy Story. Which at normal times of the day is a very cute movie but in the middle of the night is about as cute as shoving toothpicks into your eyeballs.
Worried over my sanity and the kids’ overall safety (you know, from me and my questionable sanity) I told them to turn the movie off and try to get some sleep. As soon as Buzz Lightyear faded into obscurity the kids’ eyelids were fluttering shut. I turned and looked at Jeremy with a smile on my face, anticipating the sunrise we were sure to be seeing in a few short hours.
And that’s where we were…in peaceful vehicular coexistance…when the puking started.
To be continued…