This past weekend, we headed to Nashville for one last adventure before summer vacation ended. Roadtrips for my family can be hit and miss. They’re either very pleasant and smooth sailing, or they can be a bit rough. Unfortunately, this was becoming one of our more unpleasant drives. After several hours in the car, listening to the kids argue, aggravate each other and my husband and I, we were ready to invest in earplugs and change our names from Mom and Dad, and begin speaking in a foreign language and pretend we couldn’t understand what they were all saying. To top it off, when we finally got to the hotel, it didn’t have great internet access, and for a while I felt like I was back in the Dark Ages.
It didn’t take long before I realized it was actually nice without it. We enjoyed a water park and explored the city, but more importantly we met our newest little family member. She’s my first baby niece, the kids first baby cousin. I realized as my daughter held her how fast time is going by. It seems like yesterday she was that tiny and my brother was holding her, now he’s a dad!
It hit me that life is going by right before my eyes. I may only have a few more years of roadtrips where we’ll all be together, before my daughter heads off to college. From that point of view, the arguing in the car seems trivial. Who sat where in the van, who hit who, which one is screaming at the other about a water bottle doesn’t really matter. I am determined to look at these moments in a different light from now on. These are meant to be teachable moments, not ones to get completely frustrated over. These are my kids memories they’re making, character they’re building, habits they’re forming, and I only have a handful of years to make sure they’re good ones.
Today was a big day for my family. Four of my five kiddos started back to school, three of them in completely new schools. I now have one in kindergarten, fourth grade, middle school, and high school. Wasn’t it just yesterday I was holding them as little tiny babies? Don’t get me wrong, I love the stages of life they’re all in. It’s exciting to watch them grow, learn, and change. I just wish it wasn’t happening so quickly.
Now, Little Man is the only one home during the day. After writing this, I’m tempted to stay online, but I think I won’t. I think I’ll take him to the park, and enjoy our day today, just us. Because, before I know it, it will be him getting on the big yellow bus with his brothers, and I’ll wish he were still little too.