Ok so. There is no Day One post…but I’m running on a few hours sleep, DayQuil and caffeinated Crystal Light.
I’m on a trip from Arkansas to North Carolina with our JBQ (Junior Bible Quiz) team. Because. They made it to Nationals. Yeah. They’re kind of a big deal.
We are currently on our second day of travel.
Day One…drive two hours. Stop for gas (and Gatorade. Would you ever have thought 10-12 year olds would say no to soda and can we please have Gatorade?) anyway… The bus doesn’t start. And there are no fewer than 7 people (not including me…I stayed on the bus to “take care of the kids” because seriously I would’ve just been in the way) looking under the hood…trying to jump start…cleaning battery terminals…anyway…nothing works.
Did I mention we’re traveling in a church bus? Pulling a small Uhaul behind us for luggage?
So nothing is working. So the other mom on the trip gets in the drivers seat and the coach and the other guy on the trip push us. To another parking lot. The bus. And the Uhaul. Seriously. These are some strong guys.
The other mom saw a Waffle House sign so while we wait for the replacement bus, the 11 of us take a walk…have I mentioned how much it’s rained lately? We possibly walked in some
mud wet grass…I should’ve taken pics of the feet and backs of legs after our adventure…let’s just say a pedi is in my future as soon as we get home…
Waffle House btw was amazing. We were in West Memphis (shout out to the incredible staff there!) and walked in at noon…they seated us in about ten minutes and were so patient with us! The lunch crowd cleared out and we hung out, waiting for the other bus, and the staff chatted with us, have I mentioned how patient they were? We did some crafts (because we’re awesome) and played charades.
Then the other bus arrived, we loaded up the kids and headed on our way again.
Oh. And yeah. The original bus we were on? Started up. The first time our hero who drove the replacement out to us tried it.
All we can say is. God must’ve had a reason. And. These kids are troopers! No complaints!
So we were on the road again, slight delay, in a bus with much comfier seats. Yay!
Uneventful rest of the drive…get to Cracker Barrel for dinner…eat, on our way again…arrive at the hotel about 10…9 our time, but we had switched time zones. Figure out bed arrangements, watch a little Full House and lights out at 11. Not a peep until we’re waking them up at 7 this morning. Breakfast, an hour to swim since we got in too late last night, showers and on the road again.
Things I’ve learned (already)…
1) There are kids who order broccoli instead of fries with their dinner…when their parents aren’t with them…and grilled (not fried) chicken…and yogurt parfait… Not my kid…who had French toast for dinner…but your kids…they’re awesome like that…
2) Boys like loombands too and these are one of the best “in-the-car” trip crafts. Like ever. Some moms packed them for their kids so they would have something to do. Also. You can play Uno on a bus. Without making a huge mess. Some parents sent card and other travel games. Not me…I made sure mine had her iPod and extra chargers…but y’all rock at the trip game packing thing.
3) Road Trips = snacking. Like. Constantly. Just ate lunch? Get back on the bus and grab the snack bag…I stressed for hours over the snacks I packed…so worried mine wouldn’t be healthy like y’all’s…seriously. Like I hid the skittles at the bottom and put the fruit snacks on top…you know…just in case…But this is one thing I got right. They’re kids. Pack what they’ll eat. No judging here.
4) Y’all have some amazing kids. We have some amazing kids. Seriously. There’s a no napping rule on this trip (not my rule…seriously). I’m the one donning sunglasses secretly napping. (Can you see my eyes through these? Because I left my sunglasses at home and I’m not sure these are as dark…)
5) It’s about 45 minutes in to our drive…they just asked for chocolate…when they get chocolate…I get chocolate. I love these kids!!!
True confession time here. When I volunteered to chaperone this trip, there were already enough moms. Seriously. This is so far out of my comfort zone I
seriously considered wondered if I needed some Xanax or something to make it thru this trip. (Please note that I don’t even fully know what Xanax is…autocorrect fixed my spelling – Zanax is wrong apparently – but it sounded like something people say when they are stressing about things…right?)
First of all…6 days on the road with people I’ve only spent a few hours at a time with…outside of my comfort zone. No alone time and on day two this introvert is already plotting how I can hide in the bathroom in the hotel room without the kids noticing…
Have I mentioned there’s no napping on the bus? Yeah. Road trips for kids = snacking. For me? Naps.
I’m a fairly responsible parent…I think…but I found out last night I let my kids watch things y’all don’t let your kids watch. Plus. Your kids eat veggies without anyone telling them to. Like. They order them. On their own. Then eat them. While my kid is asking for more syrup for her French toast…so my already insecure mom-self is judging myself even more…
My kids are loud. They just are. I blame it on my husband, but really, they never had a chance with us as parents…I am used to the noise…others, not so much. So I don’t try to quiet kids – mine, yours, anyone’s – like most adults do. But in the last 30 hours or so I have found myself overly quieting them (does that make sense? Not really, but it’s all I’ve got) in anticipation of other adults on the trips preferences. And feeling bad about it.
I read a book yesterday on the bus. The whole book. The only one I brought with me. Does this mean I should be interacting with the kids now? Or can I keep writing this post and make it so long that…
Oh y’all. Wait. Seriously.
We just made it in to North Carolina. Our coach just said…”If you don’t think these mountains are awesome there’s something seriously wrong with you.” One of the kids says “I’ve known all my life there’s something seriously wrong with me.”
There have been so many convo’s on this trip already that just make me smile. These kids are amazing.
All of the things that stressed me out about this trip may come true. Possibly even things I never worried about…
But I am so grateful for this time to connect with these awesome kids.
I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Except a nap. On the bus. I might trade it for that.
P.S. I have some really amazing pics from the trip but I’m not sure how the whole posting pics of other people’s kids on a blog works, so here’s the only pic of almost only my kid I could find.
P.P.S. I think it’s awesome that even this pic has the side of someone else in it…because these kids are making lifelong friends here and none of them are doing it alone. #awesomeness