We did it. We made it through the weekend. Whew! It was craziness. In a good way. A very good way.
Friday was an exciting day packing and shopping for our trip up north. The boys were giddy with anticipation as visions of skiing sloshed in their heads. Ben, Grace, and I picked Joey up from school early which made the upcoming trip that much more exciting for him. His classmates looked wistfully after him and wished him well as he beamed his radiant smile and jammed his books into his backpack. Then we went downstairs and picked Tommy up from his kindergarten classroom where he was eagerly waiting for us. The boys had a spring in their step as they bounced out of the school doors, happy to be on their way. I smiled right along with the boys, remembering those rare days of my youth when I was able to leave school early for a special trip. I recalled those very same excited emotions my boys wore on their faces. It warmed me to think the boys would look back fondly on this someday.
It was very difficult to keep the boys calm through their lunch and as I finished up the last minute packing, but eventually we were ready to go.
The three hour ride took closer to four hours as we had to do a u turn and go back to the house for Todd's ski jacket. That, and the three potty breaks we had to stop for, really slowed us down. But we made it to the cabin just before dark. And it was beautiful.
When we got back to the cabin we all collapsed for an hour. Then it was back outside for a little ice fishing. This time Grace and I stayed inside by the fire and prepared a plate full of cheese and crackers and sausage for everyone to nosh on before dinner.
Safe to say we all slept like bears that night. I don't even really remember going to bed.
Overall I think we all did a very good job. Todd and I knew that we would be requiring an extra dose of patience and calm this weekend and I think we delivered. Over and over again we commented on how, though it was trying and exhausting, we would look back on these trips with our young family fondly. Even strangers reminded us to enjoy this time. One after another our elders would stop us on the hill or while we were eating to tell us what a beautiful family we had and each would gently warn us to enjoy every moment. "It goes by so fast." they all told us. And we knew they were right.
These are the best times of our lives. And we hope and pray that through all the madness, craziness, busyness, we will be able to cherish it all. This was a great weekend. And we definitely want to remember this.