“There’s a Wawa down the street- do you want some tea?”
“No…I need a bag please.”
I knew what was coming. I could feel the black bean and quinoa burger I had eaten for lunch threatening to make an appearance all over the dashboard of my truck (side note: bravo on the vegan menu options, Storybook Land!).
I was about to throw up all over our “perfect” family weekend.
It was just a weekend trip- an aquarium, a theme park and a Lego museum. It was maybe 2 hours from home. But we needed it.
Good LORD we needed a carefree, incident-free weekend.
The past few months have been a full plate (like, Thanksgiving-level full) of working late/getting stuck in hours of traffic/missing bedtime stories; random injuries and illnesses all around; kid and adult tantrums; and a side dish of “lost the dog we just rescued in a flourish of trauma, vomit and hysterical sobs.”
It was not a meal that anyone has enjoyed.
So yes, we NEEDED this weekend.
Our kids needed it. Our marriage needed it. Our very sanity needed it.
And I was sitting in the front seat of my truck on Day 2, hurling it all into a Wawa bag.
You’re waiting for the feel-good part, right?
Weeeeelllll, so was I.
Once I finally finished re-enacting that scene from Poltergeist, just in time to get to our new hotel, crawl into bed and lay there half-conscious while my kids watched a movie, I had some time for hazy, nauseated reflection.
And boy, did I reflect.
I reflected on waking up Thursday morning with four very swollen, sore, angry-looking welts on my leg, that could really only be explained by a family of tarantulas breaking and entering while we slept Wednesday night, and praying they wouldn’t turn into what things usually turn into with me- a whole “thing” (that’s the medical term, I swear).
I reflected on going to sleep in tears on Thursday night, after about an hour of out-of-control tantrums and threats of “We WILL cancel this trip!!”
I reflected on my husband getting called into work on Friday morning, when we were supposed to be leaving, while I headed to my father’s shop to reattach a remarkably large piece of the undercarriage of my truck, which had inexplicably fallen almost completely off the day before.
I reflected on us checking into our hotel on Friday night, only to find it was packed with people who were attending a convention, which led to my anxious son having a full-blown anxiety attack at the pool because “There are way too many people here and they’ll see that I still use swimmies and every one of them will laugh at me!”
I reflected on the hotel phone ringing at 1am, and the front desk employee informing me she had given us the wrong room, somehow deleted our reservation, gave a key to the person who was supposed to be in our room, and that person was now trying to get in while we slept (Confused? So were we.)
I reflected on having to pack up our things and find a new hotel at 7am Saturday because, let’s face it, who wants to stay in a place where they play musical chairs with guests’ room keys at 1am???
I reflected on that fateful moment at the amusement park later that day when I said, “Sure, I’ll go on the Tilt-A-Turtle with you, Grace!”, a moment that would ultimately lead to me lying in the car retching while my family rushed through my son’s birthday dinner; spending the rest of the weekend in a state of woozy, painful half-alertness; and being diagnosed with a concussion when we returned home.
That’s right. I LITERALLY got knocked out by a turtle.
I mean, come ON already.
Still waiting for the feel-good part?
Ok fine, you know I always deliver.
Despite all of the not-so-great stuff, it was a “perfect” weekend.
We just had ourselves a perfect comedy of errors.
I couldn’t sleep because of the welts on Thursday night, so hey, I got all the packing done!
I had to bring the car to the shop on Friday morning and it made-my-kids’-entire-day to see their grandpa in action. He even convinced my daughter that he and she share magical powers that opened and closed the bay doors (she’s still talking about it).
Before we were awoken by the would-be intruder at 1am, we enjoyed a goofy lunch, an afternoon at the aquarium, and a nice, calm family dinner, complete with flicking crayons across the table, a food fight, and a nice big bowl of ice cream with 4 spoons. I got a cuddle session with my son at the edge of the pool, before my husband gently convinced him to give swimming a try, even in front of “all the people.” And before bed, I watched my kids snuggle under blankets, make a birthday crown for my daughter, and pig out on leftover chicken fingers.
The hotel debacle got us a refund on our entire weekend and led us to a hotel where we really did have the pool all to ourselves! Who doesn’t like free stuff and a private pool?!
We got to run through the sweetest storybook-themed amusement park like 4 little kids for an entire day, before the children’s ride did me in…and did I mention the quinoa and black bean burger? Hey now.
And being stuck in the hotel instead of enjoying a fancy dessert at the fancy restaurant? That turned into my husband finding the world’s tiniest pie and a gigantic twirling, singing candle, almost setting off the hotel’s smoke alarm, causing a massive pillow fight, and making my son exclaim, “This is the best birthday ever! Even though Mommy puked.”
Sure, I was too sick to do everything I had planned for Day 3, but wandering through a wildflower field in perfect weather was not too shabby either (and my house smelled ah-mazing for days, courtesy of the 587 stems the kids picked).
Was it the carefree, incident-free weekend I had hoped for? Uh…not exactly. But is anything ever, really?
Not in this house.
But even if it’s not what we expected, it was exactly what we needed.
It was our perfect comedy of errors, head injury and all.
Sometimes you just need some re-reflection to put things into- dare I say it- clearer perspective. 😉