If you’ve successfully found solace and peace while traveling or vacationing with any person under the age of two then you better start your own infomercial. Just throw in a bottle of ibuprofen and a really large Diet Coke and I promise to be your very first customer.
We live and breathe baseball during the summer. With my son’s involvement on two different teams, there isn’t much time spent doing anything else. Well, except laundry. Because as it turns out, boys stink. And they sweat. A lot. And they only get one uniform. It’s a good thing I enjoy watching my son play. But it does come with some exhaustion when your weeknights include two games, your weekends are filled with five to six games and the overnights for out of town tournaments. It’s a demanding pandemonium. And I love it. But it’s taxing. Especially when you have to schlep a toddler along. I’ll equate it to that awful Tilt-A-Whirl ride. It starts off slow and easy but by the end you’re more than ready to get off, have a headache and you can’t see straight. But hey, let’s go back and do it again.
This past weekend I was shockingly reminded that my daughter is a very routine individual. She likes the familiarity of her own home and feels stretched to try and make another place a temporary rest. Stretched is probably far too generous. The girl was basically too stubborn to let herself give in to the provisional comforts that were offered. Previous tournaments have been somewhat local and just meant super early mornings and a heck of a lot of driving back and forth. But this past one meant a two-night stay in a hotel. And by hotel, I really just mean a hospitable stockade for parents. It was comfortable and it was clean. But holy moly, was it chaos. I had vivid flashbacks to my college days working at the front desk, remembering why I disliked tournament weekends and the people that came with them. And here I was; fifteen years later, shouting above the noise and masquerading as one of those very own thorns. Life is one big circle circus.
New places are exciting. Except when it’s time to sleep. Three out of the four of us recognize that. But then there’s the one whose intrinsic princess emerges. As the rest of the kingdom can hardly function, she’s gearing up for a royal ball. It’s the kind of spell that makes you wish you had just eaten the poison apple. At least then you’d be asleep… Her travel bed was decked out with familiarity. Including her favorite furry friend. But she was not having it. So, after what seemed like a million steps of walking and relegating her father to the other bed with her brother, I took it upon myself to hope and pray she’d curl up nicely with me. Exhaustion makes you eager but apparently not practical. Instead, she decided to dedicate the next two hours for my exclusive enjoyment; jumping on the bed, rolling on top of me, kicking me, falling on me, head stands, nose picking, hair pulling, feet smelling, toe licking and delirious uncontrollable laughter. Friday night at 11:52, our majesty eventually caved. Just when I thought the heavens had opened up for some rest, I was snapped back to my own reality. The one that routinely laughs quietly in my ear, you fool. Although she had finally crashed, it was only fitting that she fell asleep facing the blankets on the bed. Leaving no way for me to pull them up. And naturally, the room’s air temp had been turned down to accommodate my hot box husband and son. Never mind that I am always freezing. Spring, summer, fall or winter. I am cold. So here I am. In a quiet hotel room. My boys on one side, resting nicely. And my daughter near my frigid feet. I grabbed the two little blankets I brought for her, covered her with one and used the other to try and warm myself. Really?! Did I honestly think a 3×3 square was going to keep me warm? So I did my very best to carefully lift her…NOPE! That wasn’t going to be successful without waking the whole family. So I surrendered. As I often do. And tried to shut my eyes. I must’ve done a fairly decent job because it wasn’t until two hours later that I was woken up. By two feet to the face. How someone so dang tiny has the capacity to make you cuss like a sailor, I’ll never know. On the plus side, at least her new position meant I could recover some of the blankets and cover a portion of my shivering body. But now it meant six inches of room from the edge. Yes. A queen sized bed and I was isolated to a space that doesn’t even cover the span of one shoulder to the other. All because a person who’s hardly over two feet tall was spread out in the most obnoxious way possible. Marvelous. So now it’s almost 2:30 in the morning. I’m freezing. I’m stuck. And I’m wide awake. Welcome to the awesome mom life.
The entire weekend was a tiring one. And I’m getting old(er) so it’ll take me all week to recover. Just so I can do it all over again. But that’s the glory of this life. It’s one I’ve dedicated to my family and one that makes me smile. Even when it means a few breakdowns along the way, a handful of tears and a few fits of yelling. I’m not perfect. But we’re all alive. Ready for the next ride. And sometimes that’s just half the battle.