Thelma and Louise we are not. The desert does funny things to a mind. This past week found me driving my daughter, Jodi and her three yr old and 1 year old from Dallas, TX to Phoenix, AZ. We began our adventure at 8 am last Friday morning, excited about all the “girl time” we would have. We had our extra large bottle of Benedryl, just in case the little darlings got runny noses, (wishful thinking on our part) and a bag of goodies to bribe them in case their noses didn’t run. We stopped to buy a coffee and bagel and off we went into the wild blue yonder. After being on the road for about 30 min, Jodi looked at me and said, “where are we going? Do you know which way we should be going to Phoenix?” We just looked at each other and then realized that neither one of us had looked at a map and had not even thought about which way to go. So thankful for Smart Phones, every blonde should have one. I opened my Maps App and plugged in Phoenix and found that we had 1100 miles to go and we were already lost in the first 25 miles of trying to figure out how to get to Interstate 20. But after only 3 U Turns, we made it to the other side of Fort Worth and here it was only 10 a.m. We were so proud. The first two hours, Jodi drove so I could bond with the children. Bonding to her means that I get to change the dirty diapers and hold the pee jar for the 3 year old. After I had climbed over the wires that connect the two Video players which are on the backside of the front seats, unhooked Noah out of his car seat and then proceeded to climb with Noah back to the 3rd seat, I was exhausted and I hadn’t even changed the dirty diaper yet. Enough bonding, I wanted to drive. So on our first stop somewhere in West Texas, we switched places. OK, now I am in my element. Of course, now that she is in the “bonding seat” the kids fall asleep and we are now free to sing to the radio or just talk about our dreams, husbands or anything else that will make the time go quickly. It is now only noon on our first day. Only 7 hours to go. When we get to the gorgeous scenery of west Texas you go 100 miles between gas stations, Caleb announces that he needs to poo poo, but the only thing big enough to take him behind is cactus, so we tell him that if he can hold it, we will treat him to ice cream, candy or anything he wants. After only 11 hours, we arrive in Las Cruses, NM and decide that we have made so many great memories, enough to last a life time. But we still had another full day ahead of us. After several trips downstairs from the 3rd floor room, the kids are settled. I walked next door to a restaurant to buy some milk for Noah, bribed the guy at the front desk for extra sheets for the crib and made two trips back to the van to get things we had forgot to take upstairs with us. Surely Saturday would be a little more organized.
Saturday morning, we head out, excited that we will be on the road for only 6-7 hours before reaching our destination. We have filled up our ice chest and have Dr Pepper and milk and the pee jar, ready to go. Caleb made us sing everytime he used the pee jar, which now, that song will be forever etched in my mind. “When you need to potty and you’re in a car, just tell mommy to hold the pee jar”.
The desert that surrounds us is starting to get to us. We are now getting a little dillusional. Instead of seeing water on the road, we are seeing visions of day cares, husbands who babysit while the moms take a leisurely road trip, giant bottles of Benydryl and kids without mouths. We are tired, the kids are crying and it is 108 outside. We stop to empty the pee jar and Jodi looks and says, “oh my gosh, I hadn’t even looked at the gas gage, we are on empty” We had been so busy talking and laughing, we hadn’t even thought about looking to see how much gas we had. We quickly thanked the Lord for letting us get to the station and not run out of gas out on the road.
By the time we pull into Phoenix, are minds are completely gone. On the side of the road, outside a Little Caesar’s Pizza shop is a young man, waving a giant sign that says, “hot and ready in 5 min”. Jodi looks at me and says, “now there is the makings of a perfect husband.” When I respond by asking if it’s because he is working so hard at making a living, she quickly starts to laugh and says, “no, it’s because he is “hot and ready in 5 min”. We are laughing so hard, I actually run the minivan over the curb making a right turn. We turn into the driveway after 18 hours of driving. We look at each other and smile. Regardless of the crying, the climbing over the seats and pee jars, it has been a time of sweet great memories together. We have laughed more in the last two days than in the last 2 years. We found out new things about each other and have a new appreciation for each others season’s of life we are in.
But…if you ever see two blondes in a mini van….watch out, it might be Jodi and I….thinking we are the real Thelma and Louise.