Do you remember the Griswold’s of the 80’s? The movies, staring Chevy Chase, about Family vacations are unforgettable for most of us. The humor in those movies made us laugh because they were true. I’m going to share a story with you today that makes me have a greater appreciation for Clark Griswold.
On our first family trip, I learned why the Scout motto is important, the art of origami, and the true secrets behind yoga.
Chevy Chase said in Vacation, “Why aren’t we flying? Because getting there is half the fun, you know that.”
We were early in parenthood when we our first official family vacation. Our daughter was just six months old. Our son had just started Karate and at four years old he was going to be in his first Karate Tournament. The tournament was going to be three hours away.
My husband and I could not have been more excited for our little man. To know he was big enough to have a sports event out of town seemed unreal to us. We were also excited about our first family trip as we knew we’d also be taking our daughter.
Because the tournament was going to be on Saturday, we all piled in the car Friday after school. The car was loaded with suitcases, toys, pack and plays, blankets, sleeping bags, and snacks. We were ready for our adventure.
When we picked the kids up from daycare, we found out our son had a temperature of 101.5. This wasn’t uncommon in our family. We were all known for getting fevers when teething, stress, or even a stomachache. We always travel with Tylenol. We decided to head down to the tournament and see how he felt when we got there.
With the decision made to forge ahead my husband guided the car onto the interstate and we were off and going!
We made it 30 minutes when my husband decided that our son needed something for his cough. And our needed to be fed. Our son also needed to use the restroom. The boys went one way, and the girls went the other. We all met back in the car. My husband had gotten our son cough drops and a hot chocolate. We proceeded down the road. I looked back at our son who was no longer coughing but was turning an odd shade of yellow/green.
I asked, “Do you feel like you need to throw up?”
He did not answer. He did not need to. The Mount Vesuvius of vomit that came out of his mouth dousing the car said enough. My son immediately pulled the car over. This… This my friends are where the Scouts motto becomes essential.
If you ever find yourself on the side of the interstate stripping a 4-year-old covered in hot chocolate and cough drop flavored vomit you need two important tools. You need a Tupperware container that you forgot to return to your mother-in-law and wet wipes. You use the wet wipes to clean everything up. And the Tupperware container will seal in the stench from the clothes.
To quote Clark Griswold, “This is Crazy, This is Crazy, This is Crazy!”
With our son feeling much better, the mess cleaned up, our daughter laughing, and the smell contained we proceeded down the road. We made it another 45 minutes before my husband needed an energy drink, and our son was hungry. When we got out, I thought I’d take the opportunity to go to the bathroom. The girls went one way, and the boys went another.
As my daughter and I entered the bathroom I heard a noise that instantly struck fear into my heart. And then, my arm was warm and wet. She had a massive explosion in her diaper that paled in comparison to earlier vomit situation. This… This my friends is where the Origami tip becomes essential.
If you ever find yourself in a bathroom with a 6-month-old and you are both covered in what looks and smells like a bad experience at Taco Bell you need a very important skill, Origami. After virtually bathing in the sink and forgetting that I need to use the restroom. I assembled an Origami diaper on my daughter out of gas station paper towels until we could get to the diaper bag in the car.
To quote Clark Griswold, “O God, ease our suffering in this, our moment of great despair.”
Again, we all piled in the car with our daughter feeling better, the mess cleaned up, our son laughing, and the smell confined to the Tupperware we proceeded down the road. We made it another 30 minutes when our son asked for his inhaler. There was no way were going to stop.
I asked my husband, “Where did you pack his inhaler?”
He answered, “In your suitcase.”
I was instantly filled with panic. I knew where that suitcase was. It was in the very back of our SUV, at the bottom of the other suitcases, pack and play, blankets, and pillows. This… This my friends is where the yoga classes come in handy.
If you ever find yourself in a car determined to not stop and need something in the most difficult of places, I would like to divert your attention to the yoga chart. My instant reaction was Lotus pose. Quickly followed by Folding Forward pose to get limber. I performed Chair pose as I reached between the seats. Dancer pose as I dove to the back of the car. Cat pose was the one I almost thought I’d celebrate my next birthday in as I looked for son’s inhaler in my suitcase. I then did them all in reverse.
To quote Clark Griswold, “When I was a boy, just about every summer we would take a vacation. And you know, in 18 years, we never had fun.”
It took us 6 hours to do that 3-hour trip. Our son performed in the tournament. He won a metal and a trophy. We made it back in 4 hours. To this day it is the best family vacation ever.
Please just remember these tips if you ever hear or say the words “Family Vacation!”
Scouts, Origami, and Yoga.