"Sir,I don't know if you noticed. But it's July, and it won't be July for very long. Pretty soon it will be winter. And it was an awful nice night."
"Mama?...are we there yet?"..."We just pulled out of the driveway Lil."..."Well when will we be there.." sigh.."In about two hours."..."Well..I wish we were there NOW!".."Me too Lil, me too."
Last weekend we went on a family trip. We drove down to Hampton Beach N.H. to attend my dearest and oldest friends wedding. It was the first time in three years that we went anywhere overnight-as a family. It has taken me that long to recover.
Don't get me wrong, My kids are great fun. They love going places, seeing new things. They are adventurous in their own way. It is the "getting there" that overwhelms them...and me. The amount of packing required for one overnight trip, the special blankets, sleep items, forty changes of clothes, swim wear, swim accessories..you name it-and that's just for the girls...add the thirty or so books Oscar can't live without, and Sammy's collection of action figures-with corresponding playing cards..and I start thinking of bringing two cars-and of staying home. Sigh...we would not have made very good pioneers.
Our two hour road trip only took us three and a half hours..record time considering that I had forgotten to pack the boys pants, the girls shoes and Omar's belt and tie. Of course, I didn't realize this until we were half way there, but it was nothing a quick trip to Sears couldn't fix. Although we did forget to buy Omar a belt and tie..we got the necessary kid things...my children(like it or not) would arrive at the wedding clothed.
What a wedding it was..The bride was stunning, the groom handsome...the beach freezing! Yes, they got married on the beach in N.H. in the dead of winter. I have to say though..during the ceremony-it felt like a spring day. I'm guessing that it had to do with the guests forming a wind break..or it was magic. They spoke their vows and all the flower kids (every child there was given a basket of rose petals to toss on the beach-which is another blog post in and of itself) sang a stirring rendition of "Twinkle Twinkle little star"..So maybe, just maybe it was just a little magical..
After the ceremony, we walked over to the reception, which was (thankfully) indoors. I have to say, I was worried about the herd. They aren't overly fond of crowds..loud noises (unless they are making them), strange food (meaning anything I haven't made for them from their specific menu of five things)..I guess I just didn't want them to be overwhelmed..As I watched them..walk around..join the other kids...dance..and even try different food..I was the one who became overwhelmed..When did this happen? Where have I been? Who are these children??!!
There was Oscar on the dance floor-all by himself..switching between doing a goosestep and freestyle(reminiscent of people at "Grateful Dead" concerts")...My girls..joined a bunch of other kids and put together an impromptu play-with the bride as the lead..and Sammy.. he took that first tentative step from young boy to young man. There was an older girl (at least thirteen), seated at our table..and Sammy was enamored. Sammy is a very young eleven, and this girl-well she was out of his league. That didn't stop him. When we were all on the dance floor.he asked her to dance..My Sammy, the boy who still sits on my lap, who is scared of aliens under his bed, The boy who at one time could not speak..ASKED A GIRL TO DANCE!! and even better..She said YES! He took her hands and proceeded to "dance" around in a circle-looking everywhere but at her. Afterwards, he walked her back to the table, sat down next to her, and again, continued looking everywhere but at her. It burst my heart to watch him..Later when it was time for the bride to throw her bouquet, she invited anyone single to try and catch it. Sammy..went up and ..well... The bride threw it and he leaped.. there was no stopping him, he was on a mission..he caught it...dusted himself off..walked across the banquet hall to our table...and presented it to the girl, thanking her for the dance and her company. Just like that.
You know, there are so many different ways to travel as a family..sometimes, as a parent, I get so caught up in the planning, the going..that I don't always realize when we get there. My herd has hit some milestones recently..achieved things that although I didn't think them incapable of..I just wasn't aware of them getting there. I hadn't stopped to look. Now that I have...well, I have to say, the view is incredible..
As we were pulling away from the hotel, Lily called out "Are we almost there yet Mama?"I turned and smiled at her.."yup, just about."