“I want to watch “Descendents.”
“NO! I want to watch the other movie!”
This was how the first 15 minutes of our trip started out yesterday morning.
“This doesn’t look good,” I thought to myself. I really wondered how I was going to make it the next 9 hours and 45 minutes in the car by myself with these three.
My sleep the night before was horrible. Probably because my nerves were on end in anticipation of this trip. Although I tried to put no pressure on this trip and said we’d go at our own pace, stopping when we needed to, I was still incredibly nervous. This was the farthest and longest I’d ever been in the car by myself with the kids.
In our previous trips I was always the one in charge of the kids while MacKay drove. If they needed a drink or a movie change, it was up to me to do it. And it was fine because I could just easily turn around and take care of them while MacKay took his part in safely getting us to where we needed to go. This time around I didn’t have that luxury. I played the part of the driver, the movie player, and everything in between.
Before we left for the trip I tried to explain to Harlan that I’d need her help during this trip. She sat close to Macks and was able to reach him in case he needed anything. Thankfully she’s a girl that is wise beyond her years and gets it when I tell her I need her to help out. She’s always more than willing and takes her job very seriously when it’s her turn. 🙂
Thankfully the squabble over which movie we’d watch first ended just as quickly as we started. We were on our way and quickly finding our groove in the car. Macks kept occupied with snacks and toys (he’s not into electronics or the ipad, so unfortuantely can’t be entertained as easily as the girls can which was my number one concern.) If he got fussy, Avery could look over at him and make him laugh.
I kept a snack container next to all of the kids that I personlized to their liking, so if they needed something to eat or drink, they could just reach over and grab.
To keep myself from going crazy and counting down the time until we got there, I downloaded an audio book and listened to it the entire drive. I was so into the book that time seemed to pass much quicker than I imagined. It was glorious and I don’t think I’ll take another long drive with the kids without doing that.
We made it to Charlotte in 10 hours and get this – we only stopped twice. Yes, twice! Once for a quick potty break/lunch and the other for a potty break/gas. I tried not to stop unless there was a dual purpose. And it worked!
The kids could not have been better for this trip. I’ll admit that the last hour was the toughest because the kids were getting tired of sitting and were no longer hungry. Their desire to be entertained by a movie was at a minimum. But it was totally understandable. Ten hours in the car is a long time.
Going into this trip, I had a mix of emotions. I was excited for this adventure all on my own with the kids. I’m all for challenges that help me get better and stronger in this motherhood journey, and this was definitely one of them. I was nervous. Nervous for how I’d keep myself from going crazy in the car for 10 hours, nervous for how the kids were going out, nervous to see if my patience would hold out for that long.
And with that anxiety, what I didn’t realize was that I needed to give more credit to the kids. By far, the thing that got me most worried was how they would act in the car on the ride there. And there shouldn’t have been an ounce of anxiety, because at the end of the day, they know how to do their best when I need it most.
So this trip wasn’t about me accomplishing something on my own, it was about my kids doing exactly what they needed to. That’s who deserves the credit. Because without their stories they shared that made me laugh and constant knock knock jokes, I’d never get to our destination with a smile on my face.