Okay, so the only thing my family has in common with this picture is the number of suitcases we end up taking with us. During our drive to Montreal over the long Thanksgiving weekend, I was able to reminisce over the many trips we’ve taken with the kids. Although none of them as daring and exotic as the trips my husband and I have taken pre-kids, there were many. Some went smoothly, others not so much, but one common theme among them all, they were all worth it. Each one pushed our boundaries further while building our confidence to do more.
I’ll focus on road trips. We must have driven to Montreal with the kids more than two dozen times since our first was born. The longest drive took us ten hours, the shortest five and a half. We’ve become more organized with each new trip creating a routine and expectations for our two children now four and six years old. So much so, I’ve driven the kids to Montreal on my own. The first time, I didn’t overthink it, I just packed and went. Well, maybe I should have thought that one through a little more…
The kids were two and four at the time and I forgot to bring a stroller. Although not an issue when I got to Montreal; we’re there so often, we have extra kid ware there, but it turned out to be a big deal at the rest stop. My two year-old son was out of control the second we walked into the rest stop running to the convenience store grabbing all the candy and chocolate that was at his eye level which means all of it because all the confections are below the counter at rest stop convenience stores. As I’m trying to buy a bagel at Tim’s, I realized I couldn’t quite get the money out of wallet without my son beelining for the candy. So I put him on the counter, holding him with one arm and using the other to try to get money that wasn’t easily accessible in my wallet. Note to self, don’t forget a simple, easy to pack umbrella stroller or any other restraining type device like a leash. They’re called safety harnesses but they’re glorified leashes.
Despite the few hiccups during the drive, the weekend in Montreal was fantastic. It’s been followed by more trips to Montreal on my own as well as one to Florida with each time feeling more prepared. Listen to your kids, if you have to make a pit stop that compromises the good time you’re making, make the pit stop. You may avoid having to clean up some unexpected messes. Bring a towel or two just in case you don’t make the stop…we’ve had to deal with motion sickness…twice. Having stuff to help clean up was handy. Have fun and the old saying the journey is just as fun as the destination rings true.