Many of us will soon be embarking on our holiday road warrior journeys. With my own family spread from coast to coast, and us smack in the middle of it all, we do our fair share of road tripping. Sometimes it can be stressful (like when we drove from Nebraska to New Mexico with a 6 month old, had a blowout on the interstate, and arrived to discover I was suffering from a raging kidney infection!), and sometimes it's poignant (like when we made the same journey with a 6 year old and a 4 year old to visit my grandma in what will likely be the last time I see her).
But my favorite road trip was funny, poignant, stressful, scary, and amazing all at once! During my 3rd (and final!) year of law school, we decided to take the kids to Disney World. Only, wait. Wasn't I in school? And pregnant? And facing finals? And dealing with high risk pregnancy issues? Of course. So let's go ahead and drive 28 hours down to Florida!
So why is this my favorite road trip memory then? Well, because we came together as a family during the trip in ways we'd never done before. The kids learned a lot about working together in the backseat. How to share their space, manage their wants when they conflicted with others, and how to appropriately complain. I know, right? There's an appropriate way to complain? Sure, there is! The best way to complain is in a polite tone of voice that makes a request and not a demand!
One of my favorite things about road tripping is getting to eat food we don't normally have. We don't have Steak n Shake, Whattaburger, Waffle House, or Dunkin Donuts. So of course, we humored pregnant mama me with stops at ALL of the above! For me, the actual road trip was nearly as much vacation as being in Disney (notice I did say nearly!). The time spent with each other in close quarters was time spent talking, laughing, grumbling, napping, and getting all caught up on each other's thoughts.
Another awesome thing about this roadtrip is that we've learned from all our past mistakes. Such as.... get a car checkup before you leave! Duh! If we'd thought to do that as newlyweds 10 years ago driving an infant across the country, we could have avoided a blowout on the busy interstate!
So, as you set out on your holiday road trips this year, be sure to enjoy the opportunity to bond and enjoy your family. But most importantly, don't forget to have routine maintenance on your car before you go!
I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Discount Tire blogging program, making me eligible to receive a $50 gift card and be entered for a chance to win a prize valued at $1,000. For more information on how you can participate, click here.