Last week, my husband stayed home to work, and remodel the bathroom, while ‘Buddy’ and I went to visit family. 5 family groups, 13 people, 2 hotels and a house, all taking place after a 5-9 hour drive depending on traffic. That is a lot to negotiate for anyone.
I have to say, I was a little nervous, taking the ‘Buddy’ show on the road for 6 days by myself; the meds, the food, the carting of all his supplies, the keeping track of everything, all by myself. It wasn’t easy, but it also was much better than it could have been.
Tuesday morning my niece and nephew were dropped off, and we loaded up the van and hit the road. A bottle every two hours could have extended my drive had it been just ‘Buddy’ and I, but with my nephew in the back seat, we only had to stop for potty breaks. It did not take long for them to recognize the pattern of loading and unloading the car: stroller, diaper bag, toy bag, food bag, and go. It became like a pit stop in an Indy 500 race. Before I even got around the car, the stroller was out and the bags were getting unloaded and carried, all I had to do was get ‘Buddy’.
Being in a different hotel from the rest of family proved challenging. I couldn’t just run upstairs for another bottle. I had to pack every morning for the entire day: plenty of food, in an igloo cooler, morning and evening meds, water toys, life jacket, swim bag, regular toys, jammies. Every morning I packed for another trip. But all this was made easier by looking up to see ‘Buddy’ playing with his cousins. They were so tender and loving, it melted my heart and made me proud.
Once we got to the other hotel there were more cousins. It was a lot of stimulation, like being in school all day long. It was hard work for him, but he rose to the challenge and really enjoyed all the attention. One afternoon, he crawled up to his cousin, who was sitting on the floor cross legged, laid his head in her lap, looked up lovingly, and signed “Eat”. She loved it.
‘Buddy’ had an entourage. One night we were in the pool, and he got hungry, so I handed him off to his aunt and went to get him a bottle. My back was turned for all of a minute and when I turned back one cousin was holding his hand, a second was chatting him up, a third holding his water bottle while he drank , secure in his aunties arms and floating in the pool. It was the sweetest thing. I had to grab my camera.
The trip home was long due to traffic, but one niece made it shorter by choosing to ride with me and help out. Thanks to her being stuck for 9 hours in traffic was fine because ‘Buddy’ was not crying and it wasn’t longer than 9 hours for food stops. Oh, and a special thanks for help with that blow out. Yuck!
There were hard times. Sleep wasn’t great. Constant reevaluating of the plan and our supplies to cover it was exhausting. There were evening activities I wanted to participate in but could not because ‘Buddy’ needed his sleep. So I went to my hotel room alone and tried not to think about the family time I was missing. But mostly, I was so incredibly appreciative that I have a family with such big hearts, and joyful spirits. I am so impressed at the wonderful job my It was so wonderful seeing ‘Buddy’ surrounded by so many people who adore him, playing drums with his uncle, giving loves to his Grandma. I am indeed a lucky girl with a wonderful family. Oh, and coming home to a bathroom well on the way to spectacular was great too.