This morning my alarm went off at 5am and I hit snooze not once, not twice, but three times. I had spent the last two days packing up our entire family for a road trip to San Antonio. My husband has been out of the country on a mission trip and will meet us in Texas for our niece’s wedding. So that means I’m driving us, solo, for two days, and keeping kids from killing each other without Daddy as backup.
We left the house at 6:15 with me fully expecting them to all go back to sleep for the first few hours of the trip because I’ve been told on multiple occasions that this exactly what they do when they travel with FRIENDS.
These kids who insist every. single. morning. that they are not hungry, that they are “never hungry when I wake up” wanted food immediately. But I had a plan in mind and I stood my ground, wanting to get on the road and keep the schedule I knew would result in an efficient and memorable trip. So I said no, that we would wait a little while to stop for breakfast at our normal eating time. After much weeping and gnashing of teeth we started driving. We stopped in Jackson, Tennessee and had Chick-fil-a around 8:45 am and WOULDN’T YOU KNOW a couple of kids had to be reminded to EAT because they suddenly weren’t hungry! For. The. Love.
Throughout the day, I felt myself getting impatient. I know you probably cannot relate (#sarcasm) but I’m just being honest here! I got tired of complaints about being crowded/hungry/uncomfortable/and mom’s music choices. One child and I bickered for about ten minutes over something stupid and finally made the wise decision just to drop it and be quiet. I wasn’t going to win any mother-of-the-year awards, I just wanted to get to the hotel and let them veg in front of a TV with no time limits for once.
But here is the simple joy God injected into what began as a frustrating trip. The same child with whom I had the conflict with became a comedian and we ended up in stitches. I put on 80’s music and we sang. Loudly. Off-key. We all laughed and danced in the car and the highlight was when we belted out “Total Eclipse of the Heart” while in a traffic jam on I-30 just outside Texarkana!
Isn’t it funny how a simple choice can change the entire tone of a day? Choosing to drop a grudge and laugh, choosing to stop wanting silence and embrace silliness?
Then there was the moment when we passed our first Whataburger billboard because…y’all…there are NO Whataburgers in Tennessee. The entire car filled with happy yells and all the kids nearly jumped out of their seats in excitement because, “Guess what we are having for dinner!”
And all the people said…Amen and pass me a fry.