Sunday, November 26, 2017

The How and the Why

The pile of suitcases use to give me the thrill of adventure ahead; now they taunt me with the amount of work ahead to get five people packed and loaded to make a trip. As much as I dread the packing, I know my husband also dreads the six to sixteen hours ahead driving across country. I'm sure sometimes he thinks he'd rather poke himself in the eye with sixteen needles rather than endure one more hour in the car. Can't say that I really blame him.

With each kid and each passing year the road trips home to see grandparents and aunts and uncles seem to become more and more work. Yet over the years the number of trips made seem to go up rather than down more years than not.

The summers come, the holidays come, the wedding dates, the big birthdays, the momental anniversaries and we load up those suitcases, we strap everyone in, we empty the bank account on gas and countless dinners out and hotel stays. We take to the roads driving through blinding sun, pouring rain, snow and ice,  adding miles beyond miles in cars that don't last us much more than five years with all the miles we put on them.

We now face the tears of constantly saying good bye. There's usually barely a day, sometimes only a few hours, to unload and unpack before launching back into a full work week.

There are always reasons and excuses to not pack it up and go, and to say they don't cross our mind most trips would be a lie. But then we remember the reasons to go.

1. The lifelong relationships they're building with grandparents, aunts and uncles,  and cousins despite the distance.

2. A cornerstone of the foundation of their childhood we're building with our dedication to spend time together as a family and with the rest of our families.

3. The countless memories that will fill their childhood memory box.

4. The gift of time- time with us, time with grandparents that one day won't be here, time with cousins that will grow up one day.

5. Live, laugh, and love- all three are out there on that open road from one destination to the next where we live in the adventures we seek and in the moments with the ones we love. Laughter echos inside that closed little space of the car and in the family gathered around the table celebrating whatever in life is worth celebrating at that moment. Love is there in that car, in those hotel pools, it's there with the family that only gets to see them every so often. It is everywhere around them, and the greatest thing is they know it and they know it well.

There s always the question of how and why we do it. Sometimes the how is not pretty- it's sometimes the grumpy parents, over exhausted kids,  occasional disaster mishap of getting from one destination to the next but the why- the why- is the beautiful reason and why we won't stop anytime soon.

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