Do you REALLY want me to pull this car over?”
As parents I’m sure we have said this statement. Why? Because we heard it from our parents and it scared us silent in the back seat when we were kids. It worked on us, it should work on our kids. Or so the theory says. Now, what if YOUR Dad says it to your son? Has Dad mellowed, is his hearing gone enough that he won’t hear the non-stop-babble of an energetic 11 yr old? Or has he been so far removed from it that just a little SuperTween Energy will have him digging into his bag of proven car silencing tricks and hauling it out before we even leave the KC Metro? I dunno. I aim to find out.
Tomorrow our adventure begins. Me, my two oldest children, and my parents set off on a car trip from Missouri To Maine, with stops in NJ, NY, CT and NH. We will hang out for 5 days on my parents boat in Maine, then board a train in Boston heading to Chicago for another 3 days stay before we finally come home to Kansas City. 18 Days. 5 People. Three modes of transportation.. One survivor.. er, I mean, one potentially awesome vacation. Let’s meet our contestants., well, the group:
Dad: 75, AKA: Skipper Dave. This is my father, the guy who I kinda resemble. He is quiet, and when he says something you really aren’t sure if he is being serious or joking. His sense of humor is that dry. He has mellowed considerably since I was a kid, and can find the beauty of any area. My parents have been living aboard a boat for 5 years. In that time they have traveled from China through the south pacific to the West coast, on down to Central America, through the Panama Canal, up to the East Coast. This area is their home waters. They had been living aboard another boat half time for many years, traveling from Connecticut ( our home state) to Maine in the summers, down to North Carolina in the winters. Along this journey just about every port they stay in he says “ I could live here”. Greatest Potential for Conflict: The energy level of the kids.
Mom: 75, AKA: Gramma M’am. This is my mother. I sound just like her on the phone. She is a former costume designer, perpetual student of humanity. She never really followed a set path, and was a working mom before working moms were cool. She loves art and color and is one of those women who will look at a piece of children’s art and say “ tell me about your work” and listen to the answer marveling in the way a child’s mind and motor skills work together. She is the one who is insisting we stop at the Crayola Factory on our way. She is retired, and travels as a lifestyle. Greatest Potential for Conflict: Being the buffer between her husband and my son.
Bek: 12, AKA: Kurligirli. This is my eldest child. She has my eyes and sense of humor. She is very bright, and possess maturity beyond her years. She wants to be a writer when she grows up and spends countless hours working at her craft. She is excited about this trip, but also has an anxiety disorder that flares up at the oddest times. She lives on peanut butter and carbs. Greatest Potential for Conflict: Freezing up as we are just about to do something.
Luke: 11 AKA: The Squirrel This is my middle child. He looks like my twin brother when he was 11. He is a very inquisitive child, with a very loud voice. He is outgoing and friendly and entertaining. He is also a bundle of energy , tween hormones, and prolific sweat glands. He has not been on anything that even vaguely resembles a vacation since he was 3.. it’s all new to him. So in addition to his typical energy level, he has conflicting emotions-- he wants to go on an adventure but it scares him a bit so he acts out. And up. And any other direction he can find. Greatest Potential for Conflict: I have to pick one?? I can’t do it. There are too many unknown variables.
Me: 46 AKA: Mom, Darling Daughter. I made a vow that I would get Luke out of Missouri this summer and this opportunity eventually presented itself. I am excited to see old friends and family that I have not seen in far too long. I am excited to experience all the first that my kids will do, but I am out of practice traveling so I’m getting bogged down with the details. I know when all is said and done and only memories and a t-shirt remain it will have been worth it, but I am still anxious. Greatest Potential for Conflict: Being Mom and Daughter and Sister and Cousin and Friend all at the same time and exploding.
I will be blogging from the road when I am available. You can also follow me on twitter ( essephvee) but I’m a rookie there so I expect some technical difficulties. I expect technical difficulties in many areas and I will share them here. Stay tuned!