Road trip past, present, and future

I sit in a hotel room with my son’s noise reducing earphones on. There are six of us in this room. We left this morning at 8:00 am. John, Christian and Christian’s teammate Ments were in the back bench seat. Jessie and Isaac were in the captain seats and I was in the front with Scott who was driving. It is a snug fit. We drove the 330 miles from Bend to Boise to make it to the gym in time for a basketball tournament and the first game at 4:30pm.

It was actually a very enjoyable ride. It was filled with laughter, teasing, bad jokes and snacking. I always worry a bit about how our kids friends will feel thrown into the mix of this crazy family. We are used to the frenzy of activity and the banter back and forth. We have definitely freaked a few kids out, especially if the are the only child in their family. They get this deer in the headlights look and I wonder if they will ever be the same.

Our family has spent thousands of hours in this van traveling. Some trips have been a nightmare of bickering, and others we have chosen to travel at night so the kids would sleep blissfully unaware of the hours and miles passing by. I like to travel by car, some of the best conversations Scott and I have had are on these trips with no phones, or tv, or work, to interrupt our time. The kids also seem more willing to give the concept of conversation a try. It may be about the game they are playing on their iPod or the song they want us to play on the stereo but they are actual words not grunts.

Now as I sit on the bed and hear the muted conversations, an overwhelming sense of nostalgia comes over me. Four teenagers, soon to be a senior, a junior and two sophomores. One more year of all four of them together. Road trips like this, as a family will become fewer, and fewer. It is mothers day weekend and I am reminded how precious and fleeting that honor is.


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