My husband and I travel very differrently. Both of us grew up taking roadtrips, but with very different mindsets. In my family, getting there as quick as possible was the goal. At rest stops, shoes were on as the car rolled to a stop so that you could jump out of the car, run inside, and be back in your seat as quick as possible. Meals were purchased through drive thrus as well, so that time wasn't wasted.
My husband grew up at a more leasurly place. Getting there was a part of the expeirence.
As an adult, I struggle between both roads.
I want to get to the destination with the fewest interruptions, the fewest stops with anxious little kids.
But traveling with little ones is interesting. Bellies get hungry. Legs get antsy. Three-year-olds need frequent potty breaks.
And so, a nine hour trip takes twelve, or even eighteen. And I may have griped about it a bit. It was a long ride.
But I also love that my husband cares. He heard the antsy baby, so he stopped for coffee at a playplace and let them jump off the walls for a bit.
He thought that seeing a Battleship would be cool, so we stopped for two hours and walked all over a ship, Spring sunshine surprisingly hot on our faces, kids smiling and happy to be outside.
We stopped for dinner with dear ones, when we could have hurried home, and then let the kids play for another hour outside, enjoying that twilight hour, snaping pictures as big girl soared through air on swing and little guy grinned in his baby swing.
I think we did similiar things in my own childhood. I know we created memories along the way, but my need for perfectionism has pushed those memories down. I only remember the sense of rushing, the sense of wanting to be with extended family as soon as possible. And there's nothing wrong with such a feeling. Time, and a patient husband, is teaching me that there is beauty in both routes, both ways of traveling. Yes, there's a time to get to your destination quickly, but there's time for soaking up the sunshine as well. There's a time when it's ok to recognize that the little kids need to stretch their legs, even if it may put us an hour or two behind schedule.
Schedules, I live by them. I love my lists and tasks and goals. The serve a good, valid purpose in my life. But children don't always go by the book. They interrupt schedules, act out, or need something unexpected.
They teach, and their Papa, are teaching me so much about living in the moment, living for just this day that The Lord has made. And what a beautiful day it is.
"He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also put eternity in their hearts, but man cannot discover the work God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and enjoy the good life" (Ecclesiastes 3:11-12, HCSB).