We took our first big road trip as a family of four this weekend. Unfortunately it was for my grandfather's funeral. He was 88 years old and had a good life filled with children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The thing I'll remember most about him is his joy. I'm sure he had his worries and bad days just like everyone else, but I can only remember him smiling. In fact, as I was listening to the pastor speak during the service I could hear my grandfather's laughter. I'm very sad I'll never get to see him again, but I have fond memories.
At first Heath and I discussed me flying up to Wisconsin alone, but a funeral isn't something you want to attend without your family. In fact, though it was a sad occasion, overall it was a good trip because we got to visit relatives we don't see very often. My grandma got to see Ben again and meet Avery and Sam for the first time. Plus, my dad was surrounded by his children and grandchildren at his father's funeral and we supported him with our presence.
The boys were very good on the trip. It took over 10 hours of driving each way, but we didn't have too much fussiness (thanks - in Ben's case - to the three viewings of Toy Story on the drive up). They both slept in the car at least part of the time and we managed to stop enough to avoid the "I have to use the potty" moment, which would give us 2-3 minutes to find a suitable place. I'm glad our three year old didn't have to pee on the side of the highway. Or, worse yet, in a bottle in the car.
Honestly, I'm glad we took this trip. It was very tiring for Heath and me (physically and emotionally), but we managed to throw together a 10+ hour road trip with two young children in one day and everything turned out fine. To a worrier and a planner like me, that seems almost impossible, but it was a good lesson.
I'll miss you, Papa.