Monday, July 16, 2012

You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Tears And Diapers

...What an amazing trip!  There were plenty of people who said we were nuts for doing it, but no doubt about it, this was one of our better decisions.  Sure the kids will not likely remember any of it, but that doesn't mean they didn't do it.  Trust me, they were there for every missed turn and every mile marker passed, I have the pictures to prove it.  The modern day Griswold family trip without the deceased great-aunt riding on the roof, the fortuitous Octoberfest boob shot or any mishaps from Cousin Eddie's metal skull plate.  From California to North Carolina, we saw it all from the comfort of the wagon.  We are talking about none other than the legend-...wait for it....-dary cross country drive! *sound the royal trumpets and cue jealous sighs from men and dad's everywhere*

Yeah, well...anyway, none of that is happening now.  Oh, we're still moving to North Carolina, we just won't have the epic drive across this great land of ours.  There will be no stops to experience the Grand Canyon, stand on the four corners, lap up the delicious barbecue of Kansas City, ride up through the arch in St Louis, see the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, saunter on the Bourbon Trail, go exploring through the Appalachians in Asheville and let's not forget taking dopey pictures in front of every state sign during the crossing or coming up with asinine ways to entertain the boys.

Some people are telling me that it's better this way, that the drive would have been a nightmare with a 3 year old, 11 month old, a wife and a cat.  The same people who politely smiled and said the trip would be fun are now unabashedly telling me that I was crazy to even think about doing it and how lucky I am now that it is not to be.  Part of me agrees.  Part of me says piss off.

Sure, the kids would have been run a bit ragged getting across the country, but we had two weeks planned out where we weren't going to have to travel for more than 6 hours per day.  We were even going to be able to spend two nights in some locations.  We had figured out a relatively family friendly route as well as still being able to hit some of the things we (the Mrs and I) wanted to see.  We're talking about an amazing bonding experience here, perhaps a once in a lifetime family adventure.

Eventually the kids will get older and while I am sure we'll take trips, they won't be cross-country.  I suppose we could do it later in life when the boys are much older, but then you run into the same issue as the great Clark Griswold did which is dealing with snotty, selfish, and myopic teenagers (yep, I have high hopes for my kids).  As much as I am looking forward to the days when we can do more things, I love the fact that the boys are relatively easy to distract impress.

I had so many visions of how the trip would have gone, mostly all seen through rose colored glasses.  I knew there would be issues, but as usual I pretend those possibilities don't exist.  Some people call that unrealistic, I call it being positive with a dash of delusion.

I was looking forward to the boys and I sharing views of the Grand Canyon together for the first time (as I have never been) or going up into the Arch in St. Louis for the first time.  I was looking forward to getting the opportunity to take pictures along the way in places the boys will never remember, but that I will never forget.  And what trip across the country doesn't involve eating things you aren't used to or have heard of and never been able to get to?  Sure, there are the fast food joints...but what about the local spots just down the road from that crap?  It was going to be an adventure.

Alas, there will be no road trip.  No songs sung or games played while we cross the next state line.  No weird illness to pick up from that random cafe in Mississippi.  No left arm tan for me and no right arm tan for the Mrs.  No special feeling as we crossed the state line into North Carolina and eventually into our new driveway, knowing that we left the only home the boys have known just to get back home where the boys will grow up.  And no two weeks of just us, stuck together in the Subaru for the long haul.

Nope, none of that is happening.  We are all taking planes, cars are being shipped and travel time is minimal.  We won't pull into the driveway together.  We won't walk into the house for the first time together.

The Mrs. leaves in a week and a half to go and start her new job.  The boys and I will leave a week and a half later to go see my mom in South Carolina before heading up the following week to move into our new home.  So the boys and I will be away from the Mrs for just barely under three weeks.

Some folks have told me that this is better, that it is easier.  Maybe I am a dumb schlub, but I disagree completely.  A memorable experience (good, bad or different) will be missed.  The road less traveled can be horrible and amazing all at the same time.  Some of my worst adventures have been some of my fondest memories, and I'm a little sad that I can't add this to the list.  What can I say? sometimes I am a sappy fuck, maybe I watch too much HGTV.  


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