this weekend we started the summer off with a bitty roadtrip to a cousin’s grad party in northern minnesota. but in truth, it was a big ol’ excuse for us to get out of dodge, pack the kids’ backpacks, & get in the car, where, i’m convinced we do some of our best living.
there must be some gasoline-induced magic, but what happens on the road always melds into a storybook memory. maybe because when i was little, every summer we roadtripped, my mother, my little brother & i, back to the “holy land” of northern minnesota where she grew up. said week in minnesota was crammed with dinner at “companeros,” shopping at crazy little boutiques, & most importantly (to mom), lots & lots of tennis. usually followed by more out-to-eat, & DQ. i have an endless reserve of memories from those roadtrips: rollerskating on the tennis court cement, a quick bite to eat at hardee’s (which was a treat for us), driving up to my aunt’s house & the intoxicating smell of pine. even a tiny whiff of pine jettisons me back to 9 years old. storybook memories.
so, as a mom working to live a better story with my own children, roadtrips provide just enough glitter & popscicles to amp up the way i want to live.
& i never cease to be amazed at what Someone Else slides in around all my carefully laid plans, to surprise me, a kid still on a roadtrip, with her own backpack of crayons & paper. the rest stop boy scout troop with their juice & powdered donuts offered to three very eager children. the glorious weather. short playground respites. coffee in the hotel lobby. grandparents that take the kids early to the pool & actually take them swimming. & the way these cherubs light up, as kids do, when a pool is involved. you’d think they were at the mediterranean.
there’s something to chiselling down to the bare bones when you travel, too. as if WHAT REALLY MATTERS sharpens in focus. a handful of clothes in a suitcase, a good novel, & a little glitter powder pulled out of the riff & raff of home life, & i can see straighter. focus more easily on the kiddos. traverse better miles in conversation with andy. rest.
a bit of minimalist craving whetted, i suppose.
this summer will be close to home for us with Bean arriving, but it doesn’t mean we can’t amp up the story with a bitty roadtrip or a swimming pool.
here’s to a great summer, friends, & some of our best living yet.