Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sacrificial Road Trips

I do not handle long trips well. And you're going to laugh at me but I think a two-hour trip classifies as a long trip. I used to be fine. I'd go on long car or plane trips more than once a year with my dad and all would be well. I have changed.

We have been contemplating a 12-hour family trip this Summer to attend national championships at which the Professor will be competing as an All Star. I've been psyching myself up for it, growing in confidence that this week-long event will not only be possible but incredibly fruitful and fun. Rent a large enough vehicle. See the sights. Visit friends. Watch great volleyball.

I did think that. Until... a two hour journey this weekend jerked me back into reality; the reality that I have become a pathetic traveller.

A very short time into the trip, Jellybean started complaining and crying about her stomach. I had come prepared with plastic bags (just in case) but didn't have time to grab them so I caught what she threw up with my hands. She felt a little better but continued to whimper.

About 15 minutes later, Button started to complain about her stomach and mumbled something that appeared to contain the words "throw up." I didn't intend to miss it this time so I whipped out a plastic bag into which she promptly vomited. Of course, the edge of the bag folded in (it always does, silly mommy) and it ran down her coat and dress (at which point I deeply regretted not bringing extra clothes for her). She felt a little better after that but Jellybean was still crying...

... so I climbed to the back of the vehicle to sit with her. She was much happier but it wasn't long before I started to get that feeling in my stomach. Sorry, Jellybean, mommy has to go back up front before I need a bag, too. Is motion sickness hereditary?

At the tournament, I was able to see the Professor shine. And took a lot of very blurry pictures.


Sport centers are not generally family friendly (no changing tables, no seating, no outside food allowed, icky toilets) but we made it through intact. Thank God for grandpas who come laden with blankets, contraband sandwiches, Jolly Rancher lollipops, birthday goodies for tired little boys and strong arms.



After 8 hours, I was more than ready to go home and looked forward to a quiet car ride with sleeping children...

... except that didn't really happen. The little girls promptly dropped off to dreamland but baby boy cried for  an hour and a half. I tried everything short of removing him from his seat. I did briefly get him to stop by showing him pictures of himself crying. But he lost interest quickly.


I'm thinking that, come Summer, we'll take the money we would have spent renting a vehicle for all of us and buy a video camera instead. "Be safe! Don't forget your breviary! Call when you get there! Love you!"

Every moment of that day was consumed with mothering intensity. The sounds and sights and physical burdens were amplified and there was nowhere to rest, to regroup, to seek silence. The senses were consumed and prayer was reduced to an occasional word. I confess that I took the baby into a bathroom stall just to sit for a couple minutes... to be in relative quiet, surrounded by nothing but shiny blue walls. 

These are the days when I realize the power of a sincere Morning Offering and the blessing of home.

5 comments:

  1. i feel your pain. i'm not much of a traveler. it's especially tough with a crying baby.
    i love that you ship of your son with his breviary. BLESSED!

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  2. I just stumbled upon your blog and am enjoying looking around. Most of all, I appreciate the honesty with which you write! Although I am in a completely different state of life right now (single young professional), it's inspiring to read about women in other states of life who are striving for holiness amidst their daily crosses. Blessings!

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  3. Maria-Welcome! It's so nice to meet you (and your lovely blog). We all benefit from fellowship with others who are striving to follow Christ... regardless of state in life. God bless you!

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  4. I've always been prone to motion sickness and as a child my parents would put me in a seat where I could watch the road. Anytime I started to feel sick my dad would tell me to watch the yellow line on the road and he would crack the window open for some fresh air. It helped and I only got sick on very rare occasions. Now, I can't sit in the back of a car for very long at all. I need to see the whole road. I can't read, knit, look at my phone, look in the back seat, nothing or I get to feeling very ill.

    As a child we would go on long car trips (1-2 weeks long) and drive everywhere. 5 people in a 5 seater truck was always quite cramped. On the straight and narrow where the road didn't bend at all I still couldn't read but I spent most of my time looking out the window contemplating.

    I'm sorry your children seemed to have picked up motion sickness. It is hereditary. If you watch the Duggars at all you'd find that something like 15 of the 19 children are prone to motion sickness along with their father.

    When you go on any trips, the kids who get sick easily need to be able to watch the road. It's the easiest way to combat vertigo. Fresh air really helps too.

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  5. Thank you, Jana! I am going to try that with the children!

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