Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Kansas, I thought you'd never get here.

So... yesterday was freakishly awful.  It was Day 2 of the 3 day drive to get to my grandparents' home in Liberal, Kansas.  The drive wouldn't have been so bad, if not for the 2 hours of sleep I got the night before. Simone kept falling off the hotel bed, and so then I created a bed for her on the floor.  Makes sense, right?  Nowhere to fall.  Instead, she kept rolling under the hotel bed and getting stuck.

Ridiculous.

Between saving Simone and the time it took me to fall back asleep in between, it was suddenly 5AM, I'd slept only minutes at a time, and I was exhausted.

Back home, 2 hours of sleep means I throw my children a box of cereal and turn on PBS for them.  And then  hide in my room or crash on the couch, and ask everyone not to disturb me unless there's blood.  If Steve were on the road-trip, I could have slept in the car while he drove.  Instead, I knew I needed to get to Emporia that night.  So I sludged through a pretty crabby day. 

Today, we had the final 5 hours of the 21 hour drive here.  And in that last hour, when I was seeing billboards for Liberal, I started feeling like the cliche of the last mile of a marathon.

I did it! 

I was seriously beaming as I drove that last hour into Liberal.

Remember how I said yesterday that maybe I'd see the purpose at the other end of all this?  Even as I said it, I didn't believe it.  Yes, I wanted to see my grandparents.  It had been 2 years and they aren't doing very well.  It was important to me to see them and bring my children.  But I wasn't really expecting that flooding of empowerment that came over me.

Working through the complicated situations is so liberating, because it opens up options in life.  If I can take three young kids on this last month of trip without Steve, then suddenly we have new options for ourselves.  The more criteria I have for my life, like needing him here to take a 3-day drive here (and the 3-day drive back!), the more limits I create.  If I didn't come here alone, I wouldn't have been able to see my grandparents again.

Walking in the door of their home was the best feeling.  This is where I spent every Christmas growing up.  Their home is so nostalgic to me. 

I showed the kids the backyard where I used to play, and the giant bathtub that's as big as a double-bed.  I tucked in Andrew tonight and told him that was the bed where I used to sleep when I was little, and wait for Santa to come the next morning. 

I talk a lot about how we want our children to have experiences, but even more than that to me is giving my children family.  Seeing where we came from...whom we came from...building the story of who we are. 

I am so, so glad to be here.  And just like every other challenging day in life, it seems to pale now that I've come through to the end goal. :)

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