We’re home. After 10.75 hours spent driving 650 miles with seven children in one overloaded van, we made it home last night at 6:30pm. I’m pretty sure I lost a few years off my life over the course of the drive.
Word to the wise: place your least talkative child/ren nearest the driver during such trips. For me, that’s Charlotte and Sterling. Well, Ellie’s not talkative but the sounds she make can be far more draining, so we won’t go there. So… Charlie and Sterling. Sterling spoke all of seventeen words to me the whole trip. They consisted of “Mom, you’re speeding. Mom… you’re speeding. The speed limit is 55. You’re doing sixty… two. Mom?” I was gritting my teeth and ruing the day I explained to him how to read the speedometer that’s labeled only on the tens. Another word to the wise: don’t teach clocks or speedometers until they are 16 and need to know how slow to drive and what time to be home. It’ll save you a lot of grief. Bedtime can be whatever time you say it is and you can speed in peace.
Charlie, though… Charlie found her voice. My quiet reserved four year old dear daughter talked. And talked. And talked. And TALKED. Questions, specifically. “Why did that car just go in front of you?” “Why are you driving on this side now?” “What is that truck hauling?” “Did you see how many people are in that car?! Do you think they are all buckled up?” Oh, my aching head, dear girl. Have a book. Please. Read the book. No, I cannot read it to you. I’m driving.
Best conversation of the day went something like this, while wading through afternoon traffic on the interstate in Kansas City:
Charlie: “Mom, do the rocks they put on top of people have their names on them?”
My head scrambled for the rest of the details she contained only inside her little brain. Cemeteries. Right.
“Yes. Their names and birth dates and they date they died.”
“Why do they bury dead people?”
“Because dead people rot.” I went into an explanation of the verse from dust we came and to dust we’ll return. I used the compost pile as an explanation.
She clearly took a lot away from that conversation. “Do rotten people stink?”
I do not know from personal experience, baby girl. Thankfully. But… I’m pretty sure they do.