The first hour or two of a long road trip is really just your mind scanning to see what you forgot. The car potty. Not the car potty. The good thing about road-tripping during a pandemic is that peeing on the side of the road feels mostly acceptable.
Van patrol set off to Sacramento, CA, Crater Lake, OR, Hood River, OR and then our final destination, Orcas Island, WA. It sounds easy typing it out, but hours of patience, sight-seeing, please don’t touch that, podcasts, snacks, canoe rides and cabin stays all dotted our map up north.
One of the most unexpected memories of our trip was seeing what my daughters chose to love and enjoy along the way.
At Crater Lake National Park, the girls were so excited about playing in the snow, I wondered if they even noticed the bucket list view. At the pottery shop on Orcas Island, they found a tree-house of their dreams. At the best fish and chips in town they skipped their lunch to fill shell buckets with rocks and chase the chickens.
At first I felt a little annoyed – we came all this way and you just want to play in the snow?! This is the reason we came here. The illusion of control is alluring. It draws me in over and over again. Like a wiley temptress, my pretend friend.
But then it happened to me.
Driving home from dinner to catch the sunset one night on Orcas, a golden, warm glow lit up certain parts of the dense, thick forest, the way light from the sun streams into your home and forms spotlights on the walls. The way it feels to see love shine on the face of a beloved. It was breathtaking.
What if instead of only looking at the sunset, we see what’s being illuminated by the light. What if we look up, or across the street, or around the corner?
As usual, I’m not sure who’s the teacher and who’s the student between my kids and I.
How wonderful (and challenging to the ego) getting to know my girls, and witnessing who and what they want to become. Seeing how they want to experience their world from an unfiltered perspective, uninterested in what they should be enjoying.
We asked Maisley her favorite part of the trip – four days on the road and seven days on a magical island – and she said watching a show in the car.
Fine by me!