What a difference a year makes
The trip presented many challenges. Husband couldn't come along. He'd been sick right after Christmas, and he was still working long extra hours to fill in for an injured co-worker. La Petite was recovering from getting her wisdom teeth out, so she was still in some pain and taking care of her sore mouth. My right wrist was in a splint from a soft-tissue injury that wasn't healing well, and a long drive wasn't going to help its condition.
Dad died Wednesday afternoon. Thursday morning we hit the road. We planned to get as far as we could, maybe St. Louis, and then find a hotel and proceed to our destination of Springfield, Missouri, the next morning.
Meals were a challenge. Amigo doesn't like to eat in the car for fear of spilling or making a mess. La Petite had to eat slowly because she still couldn't open her mouth all the way, and she had to rinse with salt water after each meal. These small details eliminated drive-through meals and extended the length of the trip overall. We were stopped in Milwaukee for lunch when my brother called to tell us that the funeral would be Friday morning at 10:15. This radically changed our plans; we had to make it to Springfield that night.
I couldn't make the long drive any shorter, but I can make a long story short. La Petite and I shared driving shifts through Illinois and Missouri. Amigo learned to pump gas to help rest my sore wrist. We kept up with my brother by cell phone, since he was a few hours ahead of us, and he made the hotel reservations and gave us directions. We arrived in Springfield (Missouri, that is) close to 11:00 that night and collapsed into our room.
I was really proud of both kids. They really showed me their best. Amigo didn't fuss about taking his turn in the back seat, even though he was the tallest one in the car. I put the kids in charge of answering the cell phone whenever I drove so I could concentrate on the road. Amigo was great about pumping gas, and La Petite helped navigate. We couldn't save time on meals, but we managed to minimize our other stops by combining gas/snack/bathroom breaks into one. The trip was long and tiring, but we all managed. One year ago, despite the difficulties, we pulled ourselves together and made things happen. Stumble It!