I remember when the thought of taking all three girls on a road trip by myself to my parents’ house was the kind of thing I had to pack for the night before. One, I was still up all night nursing an infant/toddler, so I needed the extra time to remember what I even needed to pack. Two, I required too much crap. Even for two days I’d have to gather an entire pack of diapers, wipes, sippy cups, blankets, water bottles, and snacks– because none of my three children could possibly go 2 hours without a snack. I’d need a stroller. I’d have to get several DVDs for the baby to watch because she’d scream from my driveway to my parents’ driveway. Leaving for two days meant an enormous suitcase for the four of us.
Now? Now I wake up and take a leisurely shower while my 9-year old not only packs for herself and her two sisters, but also loads the one carry-on sized bag into the trunk of the car. She then makes all the sisters’ breakfast, and has my tea waiting for me when I come down the stairs. “Mom,” she’ll call up to me while I’m brushing my teeth, “shouldn’t we get going?” She and my 7-year old then select a couple of books to read on the drive, and paper and pencils to draw with. They then buckle themselves into the car while I’m still puttering in the kitchen, pulling extra hard on Baby Sister’s car seat straps to make sure she’s in securely. On the drive, my 3-year old barely makes a peep from the backseat– she usually spends the entire ride looking out the window and counting 18-wheelers.
Oh, the luxury of going somewhere without going insane!