Monday, May 22, 2006

Grandma went to heaven, but our trip to her funeral sure wasn't heading that way!

My husband's dear Grandma Betty passed away last week. She was a very funny lady, so it is only fitting that our trip to her memorial service, a mere 160 miles north to Small Town Oklahoma, should be rife with hysterical comedy (or maybe it was just hysteria). I know it's probably not theologically correct, but I'd like to think Grandma was up in heaven chuckling at the mishaps that befell us this weekend.

Now, we’ve traveled plenty with our kids, including a remarkably smooth, 3000-mile car ride to California and back. But rather than our usual hypertensive moments getting our family of seven out the door, this time, we managed to prolong the insanity for a whopping 24 hours. Woo-hoo!

So what made this trip shine? I thought I’d write out some tips so you can try them for yourself in the future.

Tip #1. Think: “It’s only one night.”

It’s such a nice night. Rather than pack, take a
walk, then lounge around, watch a family movie. After all, you’re taking off work and school the next day. Besides, you are only staying one night. How much stuff do you really need to pack?

Tip #2. Sleep in.

Just an extra thirty minutes feels SOO good. After all, you stayed up extra late watching that movie and you need the extra beauty sleep.

Tip #3. Let the kids choose where they’ll sit in the car.

Then you, too, can look at your husband multiple times on your 2 ½-hour trip and realize full-well you are raising a bunch of hooligans and hellions. You'll know just the extent of their sin nature so you can pray more specifically for them.

Tip #4. Bring the dog.

This is just adds to the fun created by #3 above.

Tip #5. Forget the Children’s Benadryl.

Your toddler doesn’t want to miss a thing by falling asleep before midnight.

Tip #6. Go to Walmart early (the only store open in a town of 5000) the next morning to buy forgotten items.

It’s just for hair gel and Kleenex, so what’s the big deal? Go really early, so you can get there before you’ve had time to realize you forgot oh, so much more.

Tip #7. Go to Walmart again.

This time to buy 4-year-old’s clothes that were left at home. See #7 above. This is awesome, because when you get back, you can be shocked and amazed that you still haven’t realized the extent of what you’ve forgotten.

Tip #8. Go to Walmart again.

Yes, by the time it was over, we’d been to Walmart THREE TIMES before the 11:00 a.m. memorial service. In all, we left four out of five of our children’s dress-clothes (the oldest got to wear her cousin’s clothes, the youngest got to wear yesterday’s clothes, and other two got a new, Walmart wardrobe!).

A new family record!

Once we got there, aside from the two-year-old yelling, “I gotta go potty!” in the middle of the service, the children were absolute angels (Little One made up for it by falling asleep on my shoulder, only drooling a little bit on my silk shirt). We had a great time visiting with friends and family, celebrating the life of a very cool 83-year-old grandma.

Incredibly, I can say it was worth the trip!


Later this week, once I’ve had a chance to unpack (everything except for those children's dress clothes left neatly hanging in the laundry room!), I’ll write a few thoughts about what a special lady Grandma Betty was.

Even if you aren't family, you would have felt like it the minute you met Grandma Betty. Can't wait to tell you about her.


Jennifer said...! I can't imagine the chaos (and fun) your family has. I'm still trying to convince dear hubby that we should have 4 kids. I guess we'll see what happens.

Code Yellow Mom said...

Great post! I like your tips.

Reminded me of growing up - I was the oldest of sevenchildren...My youngest brother learned, "This little piggy went to WALMART" (instead of "market").

I'll look for your Grandma Betty post...

Kris said...

What a wonderfully funny story (even though I am sure it wasn't so funny at the time). I am sorry to hear about the death in your family and know that we are thinking and praying for you all.