As dutiful parents, we try as best we can to provide those experiences we feel our children should have. Those experiences that will help mold them into good citizens, role models, great leaders, etc. Like sitting in a van for 3 hours stranded on the side of the road. Are you doing YOUR duty?
So begins the family road trip; only as we got going our family swagger van spewed smoke and smelly fluids 10 miles from the summit of Snoqualmie pass. Simply put: Classic breakdown on the side of the road stranding a family of 7 for 3 hours.
Now, I know that parents mean well these days, but there seems to be, IMO, a lack of family road trip breakdowns. At least maybe I'm not hearing about them as much. I guess cars are more reliable now then they used to be, and the advent of cell phones has taken that exciting edge of danger out of the breakdown on the side of the road. Oh for the 'Good old Days!'
But we are 'good' parents - so we decided before we left not to bring anything that might entertain small children for those 3 hours - "You can just look out the window, that's what we did when we were kids!" And of course, we are 'good' parents so we more than properly over-hydrated said kids before driving up the mountain.
Now I have had my share of family adventures - I hope you'll enjoy reading them as I blog along - and though this was a 'character building' experience to be sure, I hope I've developed sufficient character from it in order NOT to need another experience like this. Between the boys needing to constantly whiz on the side of the road, the careful avoidance of a panic attack from one kid, nursing the crying baby squished into the back between two hyper boys thinking up games and stories, the strange van of homeless people that stopped by to 'help' (we think), the hot sun (YES the one nice day we've had this week) I'll count this one as experience fulfilled.
I had to laugh when my husband told the state patrolwoman, "Now officer, I KNOW, I wasn't speeding this time!"
All in all though, we did make it to our destination, thanks to the wonderful help of my family! I began to feel as though I had truly been rescued......... Oh, and Thanks to that nice patrolwoman who gave stickers to my kids while they waited. AND by the way, walking up and down the freeway with a small child and a car a few yards back with a hood up causes people to call 911. Who knew?
Wonderful times. Good memories to laugh at. Life 'IS' my teacher.