Lessons from the road trip

This was my seat for over 11 hours this weekend.  The Coke wasn’t there the whole time, of course, that’s a once-a-trip-treat, as long as there is some form of chocolate to accompany it.  Strange, I know.  But if I learned anything over the weekend, it’s was a reminder that humans are not meant to be crammed in metal capsules, with mounds of their stuff, for hours on end, without the ability to move or stretch.

We even borrowed a car for the trip since the jeep is a little bumpy for traffic and our other car is a little tiny.  The boys were so excited about this new car that they packed it up early that morning while I was on a phone call.  They were so excited to show me how they made “forts” a.k.a. brought loads of blankets, toys, and games.  They each had at least three comforters, two pillows, two Nerf guns, a backpack and a board game (in the box).  They were smashed in that back seat like sardines.

I knew better.

I reminded them of the long car ride and that they were going to wish they had fewer pillows and more space.  I questioned the bringing of the boxes to the board games, but those were clearly a must. We talked about the potential for ridiculous traffic jams and how hot they get on car rides.  But there was no convincing to be done and there was no time left to convince.  So in my “all-knowing” mama voice I said, Okay. . . it’s up to you.  But you know who paid for that.

We all did. 

There wasn’t a single space left in that car for anything, not even a Buc-ee’s candy wrapper.  So they made space for things like their stinky feet in places like the sides of my headrest.  They shoved pillows and blankets in all the windows, so we couldn’t see a thing.

It was like a long, hot, sweaty game of sardines. 

By the time we played it twice, on the return trip home I think they boys learned a little lesson. I know I did. Less is more.  At least on road trips. . . less is so much better.  While we were unpacking ALL of the things last night, of course, I took advantage the moment to cement the lesson.  Maybe next time we’ll just pack one pillow and blanket per body? Yes mom!

Less stuff on road trips = more fun.  

So many times in life, we have to make painful mistakes in order to learn lessons in meaningful ways we will remember. It’s easy to get frustrated with ourselves by focusing on our mistake and all the pain it caused.  But what a gift it can be to our future if we decide to learn the lesson and move on.

“Forget the mistake, remember the lesson.” ~ Lisa Messenger

It’s true for road trips.  It’s true for your life.  The mistakes of this week, the mistakes of this year. . . they are in the past.

Leave them there. 

Just remember the lessons they taught you.

to more love,


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