Well, we are (FINALLY) home at last. 18 days on the road and I can say with clarity that it was one of the dumbest ideas I have ever had. I mean, I guess I was due for a dumb idea, but really?
Now, I know that there are cool, laid-back people who probably think nothing of putting their kids and their worldly possessions in the car for 18 (or many more) days and hitting the open road. I, apparently, am not one of those cool, laid-back people. To all of my friends who raised an eyebrow when I was extolling the virtues of a good, old-fashioned car camping trip, I have to say: Why didn’t you smack me upside the head?
I like showers. I like beds. I like routines. I like my food that I like to eat at a certain time and in a certain way. So do my children. My oldest child might be returning to normal after a complete plunge into feral behavior. She wasn’t even speaking words by Saturday evening. I have to give my biggest thank you to our friends who looked the other way when she was acting like a rabid dog and antagonizing the crap out of their children. And don’t let me forget about the dog…I’ll get to him later.
But for all our Griswoldian moments, including the one where the squirrel ran into our tent while Sarah was inside (SQUIRREL!), I have to say that this trip was what my mother would call “character building”. We had to move outside our comfort zone. A LOT. And that’s good for everyone. Even the children. And sometimes moving outside your comfort zone rewards you with good things. My husband made me get on my bike in a new place many times on this trip. It was good for me to ride on new routes, new surfaces, and with different conditions, including the squirrel that I crushed with my rear tire on my special Mother’s Day ride. Honestly, I swerved to avoid him, but he changed direction, and I am just not that talented on 2 wheels. Sorry little buddy.
There were ups and downs and ups again. And after some yelling or crying about this or that, we (usually) laughed. And laughed a lot. Even after an exhausting day out at the Ranch Creek aid station for the Silver State 50/50. Even after waiting for my husband to come in and watching the clock tick minutes away thinking I might combust with irritation or throw myself in the nearby pond. Still, we laughed a lot after that day. Times like these give me perspective and build strength on the inside.
Getting back to the dog…Sunday morning I get a phone call before we left Nevada from my sister telling me that my a-hole dog Rocky, whom she had been diligently taking care of for 3 weeks, had eaten my nephew’s parakeets. And by eaten, I mean stalked until no one noticed what he was up to and tore open the cage. I cried. It’s OK if you laughed- most people whom I told did.
Anyways, it’s good to be home. I think I have had enough character building for a while. I think I am going to work on being a cool, laid-back person. Ha!