Road Trips and Star Wars Sheets

road trips

I have a confession to make. I’ve had a parenting success. There I said it. Whew, that was hard. Last week, our entire family drove from Asheville, NC to Philadelphia, PA. That’s 11 hours with 2 kids verging on tweenhood, a bouncy 7-year-old, and oh yes, a baby. Now, we are used to road trips, but apparently, others think we’re crazy. I’m constantly asked by people with wide eyes and gaping mouths: “Wow, how do your kids do in the car?” or “Wow, that must be really hard.” Okay, well, it’s not my FAVORITE activity, but my kids actually do just fine on a long road trip. And….wait for it…we don’t even use DVD players. Yes, I’m here to tell you it’s possible. For most of their childhood, we haven’t lived near family so we’re constantly on the move at holidays. We’ve always packed an activity bag for them with small toys, books, markers, coloring books, and usually something new to pique their interest.

But, this post isn’t really a how-to-take-your-kids-on-an-11-hour-road-trip tutorial (although, if you really want my opinion, you can take me out for coffee). I was actually struck last week by how hard it was for me to admit this triumph (really? doesn’t take much, folks). A friend of mine asked me THE question while we walked down the street together and I said: “Well, they actually do just fine on road trips…always have.” She nodded with approval, then I quickly quipped: “But, don’t worry, that’s about the only parenting success I can claim!” We roared with laughter. It was pretty funny AND pretty true.

Then, I thought to myself, “Why can’t I just say road trips are super in my household and move on?” Fear of bragging? Fear that I’ll jinx myself? I’m not exactly sure. But what I do know is that there are a couple tricks up this old girl’s sleeve, even though most of the time I feel like a complete toad.

But, you should know, while my kids do great on road trips, I hardly ever change their sheets. And, I haven’t trained them to change their own. {Gasp!} I probably shouldn’t admit this to the world wide web, but sometimes months go by without a single swap. Yes, that’s months- not weeks. But yesterday, I changed the boys’ sheets to their brand-spanking new Star Wars sheets and I was proud of myself. The boys were ecstatic, which goes to show you how little that special activity is done around here. Merry Christmas! New sheets.

Ah, well. I receive comfort by telling myself that though I’m not that great on maintenance, we’re big on love around here. {Repeat mantra. Daily.}

Hope you and your kids had a very Merry Christmas together, even if you’re on the road with them in the car for 11 hours straight.

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