My poor parents had the misfortune of giving birth to a not-prone-for-homesickness sort of person. I never wonder where my children inherited their lack of separation anxiety, it all came from me. (And having to never worry about my kids freaking out when I leave them anywhere, I would like to take a minute and thank myself)
When I went to college at the tender age of seventeen (my 18th birthday a distant month away), I did not go back home till probably Thanksgiving. It wasn't like a huge ordeal, either. It was a 40 minute drive from Provo, Utah to Sandy, Utah. (I just mapquested it and it was 37 minutes / 31.71 miles). At least I called often, right? Wrong. I was and always will be the worst caller on the face of the planet. Back then I, as a computer/electrical engineering major, had access to one of the only computer labs connected to the internet, but e-mail was a brand new concept and wasn't going to be a way to communicate. (Lest you think I remained in an engineering program, I did not. After my sophomore year I transferred to physics education- you know to teach high school physics.)
So anyway, half way through my freshman year I started dating some guy 3 1/2 years older than myself and newly home from a mission to Norway. Guess what he loved? Going home to visit my family. So all of a sudden we were headed over almost every Sunday.
Fast forward five years. I've married this guy, we have 2 children and live 17 hours away from my family (Mapquest says 17 hours 4 minutes / 1185.25 miles) while said husband is in his second year of medical school. I had argued, quite successfully I felt, that we should stay home for Christmas. It was too much hassle to load up the car with all the presents and drive 17 hours straight (yes, that is how we always made the trip, without stopping unless the car was hiccuping its last fumes of gas) for only a little over a week.
I know, I am a true sentimental. Sue me.
Anyway, Peter finished classes up and came home with this look. "I really, really want to be at your parents' for Christmas." I was in the middle of protesting when the two by four made contact with my head (this is a figurative two by four, my husband wanted to go, but not THAT badly). Hello?!? My husband was begging to make an insanely long and cramped drive . . . to see my family. How backwards is that? So I took a deep breath and said, "Yes."
We loaded up the car that afternoon and set off immediately. We told no one except my sister and her husband (because someone needed to know if we never arrived). With the exception of a terrible snow storm through Nebraska and a deer who nearly killed us when we almost hit it, we made it through great. Actually the snow storm and deer hit (figurative again) at the same time and the storm prevented us from stopping to save the deer. It was saved by jumping out of the way at the last second and gave us the adrenaline to not worry about getting sleepy for the rest of the trip.
The next morning we pulled up to the house, set our two kids on the front porch, rang the doorbell, and ran to the side of the house to observe the results. It was awesome! My family couldn't figure out why two little kids were on their porch at first, then they were recognized and reality hit. One of the best Christmases ever. Totally worth the 17 hour drive without being able to move my legs (I insisted we could only go if we fit all the presents into the car. I was literally -not figuratively- packed around and drove the whole trip with presents on my lap, under my feet, and around my body.
So anyway, loving family, just know that someone in this house loves you enough to make sacrifices. And you're lucky I married him.
(This post is part of 5 for 10: Yes! and also a response to a pleasant memory I had when reading Momza's blog this morning)
What we packed into that tiny car:
Luckily, Peter's brother loaned us a car top for the return trip:
This was our first year with matching pajamas.
My mom made them after we showed up
(please do not note the flat topped hair
and yet to ever be plucked eyebrows):
The whole family (why are you not there Brenda?) at temple square:
Lest you think my husband heartless
we spent New Years in Las Vegas with his parents.
He loves you guys, too: