Tale as old as time…

We survived! HFoe, Chuckles, the pups and I are on a family road trip and getting to our destination is always both an adventure and a terrifying prospect. Sixteen hours of harrowing automobile travel with a tiny toddler who is still backward-facing and DESPISING it is not my idea of a leisurely beginning to vacation. However, this trip I learned a few things, about my kid, about the journey and about myself.

First, old school headrest DVD players are the best things ever!! Especially, when they are lovingly bestowed on you by a sweet, benevolent friend who has been in your toddler-sticky shoes before! C had more hours of Disney entertainment over the last two days than she has accumulated in her entire 18 months! She watched (and I listened to) Beauty and the Beast twice, Pocahontas twice, lion King once, and Wall-e three times! She doesn’t know it yet, but someday she will be quite impressed by the fact that her super awesome mom knows ALL the words to ALL the Disney movies EVER made. No, seriously. Something tells me my sweet girl won’t mind as she will be singing right along with me. It made my heart leap with pride to look in the rear view mirror to see Mis Sassy Pants giggling and dancing with her Teddy to “I just Can’t Wait To Be King!”

All this was great encouragement after the moments of shear agony as C screamed her pterodactyl screech for miles on end in protest of being strapped down for the 5th, 8th, 11th and 16th hours! I just had to remind myself that my rear end had also fallen asleep, but at least I could shift my posture in the absence of the five point harness with which she was having to deal. I learned quickly that I have Gumby-like flexibility as I managed to dole out cheddar bunny crackers backward without dropping a single one! I also figured out that, when pressed, my little diva could, in fact, entertain herself for an extended period of time with a single toy. There was no other choice at certain long stretches of rural highway. She will be tested on this skill when we return home at the first itch of Christmas crafting I feel!

As for HFoe, he was traveling behind us most of the way in his truck. Because we are going to Colorado for hunting season and because my Hunter-Fisher-Outdoorsman Extraordinaire is amped to put some meat in our freezer from the high country, we needed both vehicles to avoid stranding C and me at the cabin all week. It’s such a luxury!

Also in his quiet 4×4 rode the pup pups, the hunting gear and much of the trip’s food supply…including C’s squeezy pouches. This proved almost tragic when HFoe didn’t see my Chevy turn into the Shell station for a rest stop and ended up 20 miles in front of us. No pouches equaled a very unhappy C. This is where I learned something substantial about myself. Despite how self-sufficient or perfectly contained I may present myself to my husband, I need him. I need him to hold the kid while I take an uninterrupted potty break. I need him to look menacing to gas station vagrants suspiciously eyeing the loaded down mom-mobile. I need his reassuring arms to embrace me and remind me that she cannot possibly scream forever. I need him. I have a hard time NEEDING anyone. I am proud. Sinfully so. And when this NEED becomes apparent, my pride and FEAR rear their ugly faces.

As obvious as it may be to some, I am a bit humbled to say that what I learned about the journey, today, is that it is much better with my lover and help-mate beside me, in front of me, behind me…wherever. Just close. And that many times in the journey of our life together when I am feeling abandoned or neglected, it’s because I have let my own pride prevent me from telling the truth. I need you, babe. And he needs me, too.

After all 16 hours had passed under our tire tred, we arrived at one of my favorite places on the planet. I have hundreds of hours of memories about building tree forts and hand-feeding chipmunks here. I hope someday Chuckles will look back at this place with such fondness. From her response as we exited the car at grandma’s cabin, I don’t think that’s such a long shot. She squealed with delight, sounding less like a pterodactyl than a jovial little girl now. And now my travel weary body can get a good rest in anticipation for the adventure in front of us…this part of the trip will be sans Disney, though. At least for a few days!


  1. Love this!!!!

  2. This made me teary, because I think we all feel that way sometimes and it is not easy to Need someone. Love you sister!!

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