Alternately titled: "The Lunatic Trip."
For months now we've been talking about it. Considering, weighing pros and cons. Back and forth. Should we? Should we not? Is it just insane? And we finally decided; we're going to go for it.
"It" is a major road trip. This summer, in the hot and humid month of July, Jeff and I will take our brood on a three-week adventure.
You read that right. I said "road trip." We are driving.
Here's the thing: we grew up in the Midwest. Jeff and I both spent the bulk of our childhoods in northeastern Kansas; our formative years were spent in wide open spaces, enjoying vast sunsets and huge blue skies. Between the two of us, we could tell you a thousand tales of that land - we both love it dearly. It's so exciting to consider visiting our old stomping grounds, showing our children where we met, went to school, played at the park.
Yes, I love the landscape of my old home. (And truly, there are trees. Tons of them. And rolling hills too.) But beyond all that, we're anticipating visiting the people. Dear friends we haven't seen in years. The church family which observed our growing attachment, the twists and turns our path held, and eventually were witnesses on the day we pledged our love to one another.
My brother and his family live in Houston, which may still be a ways from Kansas, but it's a whole lot closer to Kansas than Oregon. We haven't been to visit them in five busy years; we're eager to do that as well.
So when we realized that Jeff's 20-year class reunion is this summer, the conversation began. In the end we decided to do it. We're driving to Kansas and then on to Texas.
Yes, in July. Yeah, we know it'll be hot. Our kids will think they're going to melt.
(Believe me, I know. When Jeff and I went back for my brother's wedding in 2002 - a year and a half after we'd moved away - I thought the humidity would kill me. The Pacific northwest made a wimp out of me.)
I haven't been able to attend my own class reunions. It's either been too expensive, or I've been about to have a baby...or something. But right now I'm not pregnant. It will still be expensive, but it turns out that there is no perfect time for something like this. So before any more time passes, while we have the chance, we are going to go.
Frankly, I must tell you that I'm terrified. Baby Gabriel, for all his charm, is not a good traveler - a fact reinforced by his recent scream-fest on the way home from the coast. I'm praying he'll somehow be transformed into one, but right now it doesn't seem likely. Away from the comfort and familiarity of home - for three weeks - with five kids...is really scary for this retiring homebody. At times it might feel like a nightmare.
And yet...I think it'll be well worth it. Worth the stress, the planning, the anxiety, the price.
To go back, as we've been wanting to do for years, to see beloved sights, see familiar faces. To enter the doorway of that dear old country church, to walk up the aisle once more: this time with my husband and children at my side.
It's the stuff dreams are made of.