Adventures in a Mini Van

Adventures in a Mini Van

It’s been a couple of days since our family of 6 arrived back home from a two day, 1600 km road trip and I still feel as tired as if I ran a marathon…actually ran a marathon without training for it. My husband John and I did that drive a number of times before we had kids, and although we always arrived stiff from sitting so long and maybe a touch cranky, it never felt like this.

John did all the driving so he does get hailed a bit of a hero, but I would of traded places with him in an heartbeat. Riding in the passenger seat in front of four energy overloaded, granola bar high kids is seriously comparable to working a drive thru window at a coffee shop during morning rush hour except all your customers are cranky. I am surprised I didn’t get an overuse injury from rotating/passing food, books, iPads, etc 8 million times over my shoulder to the left. Why the heck to mini vans not come with a partition feature?  “See ya at the next stop kids!! Love you!” Zip partition. Just kidding….not really.

It was intense, it was long and it was trying but even though there were times I would of preferred to be strapped to the roof racks in the rain then riding shotgun in the mini (van), it was worth every second and we will do it again every summer. Soon I will forget about losing feeling in my shoulder from holding hands of tired kids in the seat behind me. Soon I will forget about us having to pull over to break up brawls in the back seat. Soon I will forget about changing diaper blowouts in gas station bathrooms. Soon I will forget that the floor of the mini van looked like Costco threw up. Soon I will get the Peanut Butter and Jelly song out of my head (please God). Soon my husband will forget about getting hit with a half chewed banana in the back of the head while driving on the 401. Soon we will just remember that on our two week holiday, my almost 2 year old decided to master a cannonball. Soon we will just remember that our 8 year old water skied for the first time. Soon we will just remember how loud our 4 year old screamed her head off when we unveiled our hotel room had a hot tub. Soon we will just remember the excitement our 6 year old had when she found out the tooth fairy found her in Ontario. Soon we will just remember the highlight reel that shows up when I scroll through pictures on my phone.


Excitement upon seeing a sign for home. 


These years are exhausting, I will never pretend for them not to be, but I had this weird realization on our drive home. This was our 9th summer traveling with our kids to visit my husbands family and quite likely the last we have to pack diapers. Yes that is something to celebrate and may not seem like a big deal…. but it was a reminder to me of how precious this time is. I know there are many moments (like when your dealing with a temper tantrum or trying to convince your kids to share the iPad in the back seat instead of punching each other) where its so hard to feel grateful. I know it, I live it…. but thats why it’s so important to take time for yourself so you can reflect on the moments where its easy. Everyone will tell you all the time that it goes quick so I won’t say it. I’ll just say- look after your heart, look after your body, look after your mind. When you have short moments of peace to remember how much you truly have to be grateful for I promise, you will breathe deeper, feel happier and have more patience when you get hit with a banana.