The Open Road

I love road trips. There’s just something exciting about hitting the open road with the windows rolled down and your favorite tunes playing on the stereo. It doesn’t matter whether it’s 4 hours or 20-something, it’s the same feeling. I get butterflies in my stomach a few days in advance and barely sleep the night before because I’m giddy with excitement.

My love of traveling via automobile is probably because at least once a year my parents would pile us in the car either to see relatives or to go to a convention or both. It was usually early morning when we’d leave, with the sun barely risen yet, or occasionally not at all. I loved getting up early, and usually barely slept a wink before we’d embark on another trip. Dad would warm the car up and try and fit everyone’s luggage in the car. (Girls really do pack too much at times). Then we’d all pile into the car and off we’d go. Sounds fun, right? It’s amazing how cramped a vehicle with 5 people can get in such a very short period of time. It would often start with the need for each child to have a bag of items to keep them occupied, which cuts down on foot room, a lot. Then there was the arguing over who would have to sit in the middle, and most often that would end up being the youngest (Daniel). It’s amazing how much heat a small boy can produce. I remember so many occasions when we’d be driving along and just roast in the back seat because it was as though we were sitting next to the sun, and on top of that, the AC was not running because the parental units up front weren’t crammed next to each other. 😉 Ah, the good ‘ole days.

Sure, there was always some sibling arguing as is bound to happen when forced to sit in a car for hours at a time, but it never made me dread these excursions. You can’t really stay mad at your fellow prisoners for too long, so arguments generally ended within an hour or so. 😉

Eventually it got to a point where my sister and I could drive ourselves, so we’d follow behind like a shadow. I remember the first time we drove separately, blasting music with a backseat full of sugary snacks and entertainment, most likely bringing far more luggage than we needed, just because we could. Then eventually there were no more caravans as we’d all grown up… I have such fond memories of those road trips, though, and so many funny stories that come to mind and make me smile.

Thankfully I have married a man who loves road trips even more than I do. He can keep driving long after I’ve gone completely stir crazy and have to pull over before I begin to twitch and have a melt down after cackling maniacally, usually brought on by lack of food. I get grumpy in the car if I’m hungry or tired, much like a toddler, so Josh knows when it’s time to pull over. 😉

As we drive along on one of our longest road trips yet, I’m excited at the thought of torturing… er… sharing with our future kids the joy of driving to new (and old) destinations, stuck in a car with their family for hours upon hours at a time. How exciting to share our love of wacky places with them, our eclectic taste in music, our random and odd conversations that take place on the road as we drive through towns that are clearly inhabited by zombies and/or pod people.

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”
– Ursula K. Le Guin

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Those Silly Kids

Petting.  Are your kids doing it? Do you want to know if your kids are doing it? The Mother’s Encyclopedia found petting important enough to spend several pages on the topic.

Dear Gumba,

“I could understand it,” said a puzzled mother, “if it were a question of being in love with somebody. But Phyllis is too young to be in love. Well, perhaps not too young – I know my grandmother was married at fifteen. But marriage is years ahead for Phyllis. And besides, she admits that she isn’t really in love with any of the boys she pets with. I know that some mothers feel that there is safety in numbers. But it’s just the miscellaneousness of it all that bothers me. I don’t think Phyllis is cold-blooded and callous, but sometimes it seems so. Anyway, I don’t like it. Is that prudish and old-fashioned of me? And is there really anything to worry about? Why must they pet?”

-Troubled in Philadelphia

To better understand the situation, we must go straight to the source – young Phyllis, only we’ll sum it up a bit.

“At puberty I began to feel differently. Boys became more interesting to me. I was beginning to grow up… I was excited and disturbed about boys,  but at the same time I felt a little scornful of them…I had a tremendous case on Mr. Smith, my history teacher. He was a kind of love-substitute for Father (??) and a step away from my family. Then I began to have cases on movie actors. They were at a safe distance, you see, and my feeligns could be less and less daughterly… But all that is the spirtual side of love – worship and admiration. And there was the other side of love to be developed, too. It had to be developed at the same time, but it had to be with different persons… Petting was a little hard for me to begin. It was made easier by the fact that it was the thing to do – a girl had to pet sometimes or she was thought stiff and queer… If you only knew it, I’m not as much of a petter now as I was a year ago, in my earnest and dutiful and indiscriminate-petting stage (I’m sure that’s a huge comfort to your mother, Phyllis).”

You know, really these 10 pages could be summed up so simply. There are these crazy chemicals called hormones that will make your teenagers behave like idiots. Raise them well, and good luck. 😉

Friday!

Friday finally!  It’s been a horrendously long week, and I’m just hoping today goes better than yesterday.

Just because Mario is awesome

I’m also hoping we can squeeze in a movie this weekend. I was thinking Bridesmaids, but I’m not really sure what else is playing right now. Either way, let’s hope today goes quickly!

So Busy

Less than a week until our trip, and so much to do it seems. Thanks to nice weather, we’ve been able to ride our bikes a couple of times, but apparently it’s supposed to rain… again. I’m hoping the forecast isn’t right because the rain is also supposed to follow us a bit on our trip.  At least that means less time spent outside watering plants for our house-sitters. :p

“You rock, Rock.”

This made me think of I ♥ Huckabees, which I fell asleep watching the other night. Normally I don’t fall asleep during favorite movies, so I’m going to have to go finish it. 😉

The Fan Carpet

Coffee with Gumba

Before a couple gets married there are many issues they’ll eventually discuss, but one of the biggest topics is usually family. Will they have a family, and if so, how many kids will they decide to have?

The Mother’s Encyclopedia has several pointers when making the decision regarding family size. Let’s go straight to the source shall we?

“The principal factors that determine the number of children of any intelligent wedded couple are usually the family finances and the mother’s health.

“Mother’s Health: First consideration, of necessity, is often given to the mother’s health. So much “sob stuff” as to the supposed deleterious effect of childbearing has been circulated during recent years that a false impression has been created, which many young women have absorbed unconsciously… In a normal group of women, the ones who live the longest are neither the unmarried nor the mothers of small families, but those that have half a dozen offspring or more.

“Given normal health and constituion, child-bearing is a benefit, not a detriment, to the mother’s health, and a good-sized family, properly spaced, is one of the surest ways of preserving vitality and preventing the premature onset of old age.”  (Sure it is…)

So, as I understand it, I’ll actually live longer if I pop out more kiddos, but if that doesn’t convince you that more is better, perhaps this will:

“There is some evidence that the first-born are somewhat handicapped both physically and mentally, and the the most vigorous, long-lived and healthy children are the fourth to the eighth in order of appearance.  Several studies have also seemed to show that each succeeding child is brighter than its predecessor, although of course the difference is slight and applies only to averages”. 

Ah, so practice makes perfect and eventually you’ll have children that aren’t too dim-witted. 

If that’s enough reason for you to have a large family, there’s a matter of success…

“Dr. Huntington and Mr. Whitney [of somewhere] found that there was a direct relation between their [a group of Yale graduates] success in life and the number of their offspring.

“‘On the average the unmarried men are the least successful-those who are married but have no children succeed a little better, but not very well. The men with one child succeed better, and so it goes, until the most successful group of all is made up of those who have six children or more.’

“This is not merely because of the additional responsibility assumed, the extra stimulus to achievement, but the successful, able, vigorous man is the man who is likely to have the same kind of wife; and they are both likely to want to have a normal family of children.

“The weakling, the inadequate man, the defective may not have the ability to make a success in life or to attract a desirable wife – or any wife at all.

“Healthy and intelligent parents, according to all the evidence available, find it beneficial to have families considerably larger than the present average. The figures show that they are beginning  consciously realize this, and I have no doubt that families of four, six and eight children, will during the next generation, be more fashionable among educated people than they have been in the one now passing.”

So… in order for my husband and I not to appear as unsuccessful weaklings we should probably hurry things up a bit more. I mean, I’m almost in my 30s and I’ve got 6-8 kids to push out!  I suppose it’ll be worth it to know that by the 4th kid or so they’ll be smart, though. 😉