Back on the Road

It’s been two years since I joined my family on our annual road trip. Seventeen hours from Chicago, in a rented van, to join my husband’s family at a beachfront house on the Outer Banks. With the work project and the new books and all the personal things that happened in recent years, it just wasn’t a priority for me.

Which is sad.

Because I missed so much.

And of course, we think about flying every year – but the car ride for the past ten years has been our very own tradition.

So much change has happened while I was away.

My nephews are taller. My in laws are older. The house seems so much smaller. My son’s laughter reverberates through the walls. Like an only child, he’s ecstatic to be around his cousins. There’s an abundance of food, of board games, of shoes and flip flops thrown around the entranceway of the house. Four families, nine kids. All huddled around the living room, watching the grandparents watch Fox News.

Sunday was Steak night, Monday was Brazilian night (in honor of the Olympics) and last night was Filipino night. There’s still an Eat out night and a Clambake night before this is all over.

And then there’s an abundance of alone time. To reflect, to rest and rejuvenate.

Enough to finish Eight Goodbyes. To review The Light in the Wound on audio (shout out to Anna Kasabian).

I still hold my 4:00 pm Status Meetings with the people at work. I still check and catch up on email late at night. But the fact that I am here, that I am present and engaged, that I am actually enjoying the people that should matter most to me, is a great big change for me.

And for my family.