The eldest is seriously outgoing. We forget this in our day to day life, but take this child on a road trip and he will meet the entire state. He has a career in politics. Or ministry. And once he’s begun the questioning of the unsuspecting person we encounter, all three launch in.
Meet Miss Loretta: Loretta was in the Marriott Timber Lodge hot tub in Lake Tahoe our last night on vacation. She was there celebrating her 87th birthday with her two daughters in their 60s. They’re from Reno and have a condo near the airport. She has family in Katy, Texas. She now knows our Pre-K 4 teacher also has a home in Katy, Texas.
I had to keep pulling the kids back to the hot tub bench so they didn’t end up in Miss Loretta’s lap.
Meet Little Rosie: Rosie is also 5. Her birthday was in January. She and her mother, originally from England, were visiting Houston and had the great fortune of riding in the row in front of my little man on the flight up to Reno. They were returning home. Rosie is also looking forward to starting kindergarten in the fall.
Meet Miss Beth: Beth was stuck in Reno with us during a flight delay. She is from Iowa and was in Reno for vacation visiting her grandson, also five, and granddaughter, ten. She doesn’t get to see them very often. She let the kids playing gambling games on her tablet (lordy). The eldest inquired in Denver if we could call Miss Beth to see if she found her plane. I told him I didn’t have her number, and he got incredibly concerned because how would we go visit her in Iowa without her contact information.
Meet Pilot Gabe: Captain William generously gave up his pilot’s seat as we boarded the plane so all three kids could enter the cockpit. Pilot Gabe is very knowledgeable about all of the gadgets and gears on the airplane which was fortunate given the intense questioning he underwent at the hands of the eldest. Alas, we don’t know where Pilot Gabe is from because mommy had to pull the interrogator out of the cockpit so everyone could board.
There were other’s stories we glimpsed on our journey.
On our last night by Yosemite, we had dinner in Mariposa (the closest town to our house). Afterwards, we went to an amazing ice cream shop for treats. The shop is run by sisters. One sister, who looks remarkably like our next door neighbor, kindly dipped out everyone’s ice cream order, while the other sister worked out logistics for her daughter with her ex. She fixed him a milkshake to go and he had their daughter for the night. She asked if she could have their daughter Friday night for a family graduation. He agreed but said the girl had to spend the night with him Friday night because they were leaving town on Saturday. The mother sighed when she remarked the graduation didn’t start til 8 pm. She hugged her girl goodbye and stood sadly at the front window as her girl and past man drove away.
Some of you know my story. My parents divorced, in an ugly and public way, at the end of my seventh grade year. I didn’t see my dad for three years. Witnessing these hard stories up close still rips me to pieces. I have friends and family who have gone through this heartache, and I know from first hand experience the challenges single parents face. I stopped right there and began to pray. For the business to thrive. For each of the people involved in the breaking to heal and to know God’s love. For them to feel peace and comfort and strength and restoration.
Driving off, I looked at Bray and said, please, no matter what happens, let’s not let that happen to us.
I know you can’t predict what happens. Really I do. I’m sure my preacher’s kid mother never dreamed her marriage would end after 17 years while married to a preacher herself. But I have to tell you, I want to do everything in my power to work through whatever faces us so I don’t end up at a front window watching my kids drive away.
And if you’re going solo right now, I can tell you God does crazy stuff. He makes provision in the hard times. (We had Thanksgiving dinner show up one year on our doorstep and another year money for new school clothes show up in the mail…) He heals. He restores relationships.
That’s it from the road. Thanks for bearing with my walk down memory lane. This blog does a lot of things, but one of the things it does as serves as my memory for big family events. I love having you on the ride with me.