Let me start with some of the blessings from our first day of travel:
1. A safe journey.
2. The joy of watching the children's excited faces as they opened early Christmas presents (and birthday gifts for Alex), presents we knew they would enjoy having on the trip: electronic games, card games, Polly Pockets for the Princess.
3. Plans with my friend from teaching...and a possible shuttle launch scheduled for Thursday! She can see the launchpad from her home in Titusville, so we'll watch from there. As I was making plans with her on the phone last night, I jokingly thanked her for working with NASA to arrange this for us since we've never had the expectation of being down here at the right time to witness such an amazing event. Now we're just praying that the weather holds true and that all of the shuttle parts are in place so there will be no reason to cancel.
OK enough of all that happy stuff...Let me just say that I've come to the dismaying conclusion that I'm an old lady very set in her ways! It's not a realization of which I'm proud, but allow me to whine a little here:
1. I'm very impatient with long car trips. Though our trip yesterday was uneventful, every so often there was a chorus of 4 voices: "Are we there yet?" followed by a sweet, little echo: "Dere yet?" I'm quite sure we drove our chauffeur mad.
2. Now the bed: it's terrible. I brought my own pillow, but I need my Select Comfort bed. (Maybe I should ask dh to start staying in Radisson hotels instead of Marriott!)
3. The room: too quiet for sleeping. At home, I always have a fan going for noise. So I improvised and turned on both bathroom fans and let them run all night.
4. I got hardly a wink of sleep, although the bed and the pervading quiet were not completely to blame. In fact, I can blame most of my sleeplessness on the kids. My children's coughs only come out at night...and two of them had horrible coughs last night. They were troopers, however, and didn't complain; in fact, I think they slept through their coughing fits. Not I, however. Not in a too silent room on an uncomfortable bed. I think it was around 4:00 this morning I lay in bed literally PLEADING with God to make Audrey and Michael stop coughing. God is awesome and answered; however, I forgot about His sense of humor. I had just fallen asleep when Michael's coughing started again. God, You're killin' me, I thought and went into the kids' room to see if I could offer Michael a drink of water. It wasn't Michael, however. Very funny, God--I forgot to pray that Jacob wouldn't be afflicted. I said a quick prayer for Jacob and finally drifted off to sleep. Maybe they'll be all coughed out by tonight.
5. And this is not so much me whining as me ascending my soap box for a little preaching. We enjoyed a nice dinner at Tony Roma's last night, but prior to our entering the establishment, my youngest reader very competently (and loudly) read the sign on the neighboring store: Bad A** Coffee Shop. The sign has a little donkey on it. Honestly, if I didn't have my kids with me, I would actually find this mildly humorous (although I fail to see the correlation between donkeys and coffee), but really, do they have to set up shop right next to a family restaurant on the busiest tourist street in Orlando? Of course, that's my answer right there...it's the busiest tourist street in Orlando, so I get the marketing strategy. Anyway, we did have a thorough and good conversation with the children about the meaning of the word in Biblical times (thus the donkey) versus the derogatory meaning today. Hopefully, we made our point clear enough. If not, let's fast forward to Christmas dinner and imagine us sitting down to dinner with the grandparents and one of the kids recounting how we went to the Bad A** Coffee Shop. Let's just hope we got our point across!
So there was a day once upon a time when my life was more footloose and fancy free where I enjoyed adventures and leaving home to stay in some strange place. Now I think I've just gotten old. It's sad. I need to "relax" as my dear husband so aptly instructed me last night after every heavy sigh I heaved following every cough that emanated from the kids' room. I need to reach down inside me and retrieve that easy-going, fun, adventurous, spontaneous, young woman I once was. (Well, we may just have to agree to willingly leave the "young" behind!) Seriously, though, I have these 4 wonderful, amazing children who deserve some adventure and excitement...even if it does mean I miss a night of sleep here and there.