Our transfer to Texas was planned for months. Our move was planned for weeks. Our drive across three states was only a plan for about a week before we had to pack up our selves, three kids, two dogs and cram into one very stuffed minivan. Our drive was the last thing on our mind to be honest. We thought, what could possibly go wrong? It’s not like we have a choice at this point. We are expected to be in Texas by the end of day three. We gassed up the van, we prayed, and we ventured into the unknown.
Our first day was filled with excitement and the “plans” for the life we have ahead of us. This day was great. The driving was smooth. There was no traffic, a lot of desert and mountains, a long stretch of I-40 ahead of us. When we got to the hotel for the night we were pooped. The kids were all kinds of riled up. They needed to stretch their legs and get out some energy, so a hotel room was not something they were really interested in. I am go out to grab sandwiches across the street at the local Subway (which was all over our trip except in this town… thank God there was one lone location across the street from the hotel). As I am getting into the van to go back to the hotel Hubby calls frantic. I try to keep my composure because if Ben is scared this is a BIG problem.
I get back to the hotel lobby and the ambulance is there and paramedics surrounding my Peyton. It looks like he got into a fight with the nightstand separating the beds and he lost. After five hours in the local (again, thank God it was only three miles from the hotel) emergency room and six pretty intense stitches later he had a battle scar fit to flash around. I think I was the one who was more scarred than him though. At the end of the day he probably won’t remember it at all, but I will remember the torture of having to hold down my oldest child while he got stitches and screamed and cried through it all… I cried after with him. I don’t know how doctors and nurses can do that every day.
There have been very few occasions where I have hated being a parent. I hate it when I have to take them for their shots. I hate it when they are in full meltdown mode in plublic. I hate it when all they want to do is fight. But, this moment. The moment when he had at least a quarter of an inch deep, three quarters of an inch wide, two and a half inch long gaping hole being stitched up by a doctor at 10:30p after exhaustion, shock, and panic has taken over his little body… that is a moment I don’t wish on any mother or human being… EVER.
After five and a half hours of intermittent sleep we got up and ready to go for day two. Ben and I both told ourselves that it can only go up from here, which thankfully it did. We made it to New Mexico without a hitch. It was a beautiful ride too. The landscape totally resembled the Disney movie Cars. It was beautiful red and beige rock that surrounded us. The knee high bushes and occasional cactui were generously sprinkled over the dry dusty land. It was stunning and oddly peaceful. We encountered a few drivers who wanted to pick a fight over which lane was “theirs”. Overall the kids and the dogs made it through with minimal difficulty.
Dinner from Pizza Hut was a crowd pleaser, as always. It never fails to astonish me how resilient kids are in the midst of a huge transition. The topic of discussion that night was who got to hold the dogs leashes while they were walked and that Peyton had more pizza than Preston. We were thrilled to go to sleep early and the kids didn’t argue, which was a nice change of pace. However, the next morning we were back at the arguing and all was right with the world.
The third and final day of driving was the longest day. It was over eight hours of driving, not including stops for gas/food and bathroom breaks for the kids and the dogs. We hit the New Mexico/Texas border very early, but the whole of the trip was small roads. We were headed to a new friends house to drop off the dogs before we would consider ourselves done for the day. As a whole, the drive was perfect, but we did encounter one bump in the road.
In the state of Texas, it is a road infraction punishable by ticket/fine for you to linger in the left lane. The left lane is strictly used for passing. Once you have passed the vehicle(s) you must return to the right lane. Well, since it’s quite literally our first day officially in Texas as residents, we had no clue and got pulled over. After providing valid license and proof of insurance, and giving permission to search the vehicle if they wanted to (which was weird, but I suppose this is a common thing in Texas too), the cop let us off with a warning. We were grateful and back on the road. Being in some small town, on a small road, in a vehicle with out-of-state plates, packed to the brim with kids and chihuahuas… I guess it makes you a slightly suspicious character. **Whoops**
Finally about 8:30/9p at night we made it to our new friends home. The boys got out to play with their little boy. Ben got to chat with the man of the house, and I was able to visit with the lady of the house. It was nice to not feel alone our first night in a new place. We felt like we actually have friends. It’s been nice to have someone local to text and chat with about making plans or play dates. It just made Texas feel even more like home.
When we finally got in bed and wrapped in blankets, it took less than half a breath for us all to be asleep. Our trek was done. No more full days of driving. No more need to be at a destination before the end of the day. No more cruise control or pit stops. Now we are on to real life. Real TEXAS life.