Monday, April 13, 2009

Day Four

Day Four.
That is a label that has come to have new meaning.

We just went on a road trip for a long weekend to visit my eldest, so we could all be together for Easter and also get to participate in the entire Easter Triduum liturgy at one of the most glorious ones in the country.
We really enjoy doing this and the Vigil Mass gives me chills and makes me cry and makes our hearts soar.
It's stunning.
It's a great way to spend Easter, mindful, rich, and so nice to be all together.

But it's a busy weekend. Some folks have half-jokingly called the Triduum (the Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday liturgies, culminating in Easter Sunday) the Catholic Olympics or Decathlon. Because, yeah, its a spiritual and physical workout.

And there is that day....Coffeedoc has pointed it out over the past few trips.
But it's the Dday. Day Four.
It's the day that any trip, for us at least, is a bear.
That shiny excitement of a trip has worn off.
That out of sorts, out of your element, out of your comfort zone has crept in.
And for us, Day Four is the day of cranky tired family travel.
No matter whether we are at the beach or in Addis Ababa, visiting family or touring museums...it's the day: Day Four.

And the reason for me to post this is twofold: one, to be honest enough to show the gritty parts of family life. And two, to hope that others have been there done that and are recovered enough to laugh about it and remind me today.
We will be too.....but it's gonna take at least a day or two of re-entry settling back in and regrouping, remembering that it is all good, most of the time, not all crabby more of the time (by which I mean, yesterday).

On another note, this makes me rethink Coffeedoc's other point.
Lately, he has been mildly pushing, erk, presenting, the idea of a bigger car.
"We'll never fit all everyone into the car and we can't go anywhere as a family," he says.
"Don't be ridiculous," I say, "we can just squeeze in, we'll be fine. We'll put the jump seat back in the car. We'll tow our bags. It'll work. I'm never driving a bigger car! I don't want a bigger car!"
Well, so we did.
We put the jump seat back in the cargo space.
We squooshed Little Man back there and squeezed everyone else into every last available inch.
And it worked...by which I mean, we arrived at our destinations together and in one piece.
But.....by Day Four, yesterday, it was a very very long drive home.
Nine and half hours.
Like in a clown car.

Between the squeeze and the infamous Day Four (granted aggravated by not nearly enough sleep for all due to late vigil Mass and too much sugar) it was a pretty grouchy day.
For all of us.
It is the sort of trip that someday, we will tell stories about, small ones...be able to tease a bit, remind each other of the scary diner and crazy-bad five year old's jokes.
But really, considering that next year (or, this summer) we will have one more teen in the car?
We have to either add a seat or take two cars, or......
I am rethinking Coffeedoc's car ideas.
And once again, I am reminded, "Never, never, say never."
Day Four.

2 comments:

Jen said...

Love your post. I am sorry, but I had to chuckle. Growing up in a big family, everyone referred to our car as the clown car. In a week or two, you won't remember anyone being grouchy, but you will remember the time together as a family :)

The Albertsons said...

aaaahhh.... this cracks me up... it reminds me so much of the family i grew up in, and my family now... (and how it will evolve, i'm sure...). Day FOUR is always hard... and i love that you talk of "re-entry" because zach and i talk of that all the time after a trip- it's rough, but sweet at the same time, to get back into the swing of things (even though i always seem to arrive home to a filthy house...)
i need a maid! or a wife! something!!!
love, and happy Easter!
becca