I'm accustomed to long car trips. Growing up, we regularly traveled 9 and 21 hours (by car) to arrive at our family vacation destinations. But, last night felt even longer. We were coming away from a wonderful weekend celebrating my sister's wedding (more about that later). It was such a fun weekend and Sunday (yesterday) was a relaxing day of cleaning up from the wedding and visiting with family until late afternoon.
We packed up and headed on our way in good spirits. I was especially in good spirits. Everything was right with my world. I had just spent the weekend with so many of the people I love and my little sister was happily married and on her way to a sunny destination with her new husband. That warm and fuzzy feeling was temporarily interrupted by four hours of major stomach cramping that reminded me of labor pains (This is actually a fairly regular occurrence for me. It just usually doesn't happen while we're traveling). The rest of the car trip involved a series of stops...
Stop #1: A potty stop for me at a food mart. No public restrooms.
Stop #2: A potty stop for me at a CVS.
Stop #3: Gas station stop to fuel up the van and I nursed Miriam.
Stop #4: A potty stop for me at a family restaurant and bar in who knows what little town.
Stop #5: A potty stop for Sadie along the side of the road, literally one minute after the last stop. At this point, Sam says something like, "Again? It's just you girls that keep making us have to stop!"
Stop #6: A potty stop for me at a truck stop. Lovely.
Stop #7: A potty stop for me at a McDonald's. There, I also nursed Miriam and Jamey bought the kids yogurt parfaits and himself some ice cream. You know he wasn't going to feed me anything. I was surprised he didn't come out with all the hamburgers and french fries that had in stock the way this trip was going.
During the course of these four hours riddled with seven stops, the kids tried offering some advice to their sick Mommy...
"Maybe you need a doctor." -Sadie
"Maybe you need some medicine." -Sadie
"How about some dinner?" -Sadie
"How about some drink?" -Sadie
"How about a nap? A looong nap?" -Sadie
"Maybe your pants are too tight." -Sam
The last two hours were fairly uneventful. My stomach stopped retching and I felt well enough to sing a couple lullabies that put the children to sleep. I rode the rest of the way home in a daze watching the clock and stunned over the fact that a trip that can take four and a half hours without potty breaks and traffic took us almost seven.
It's good to be home.