I have that song, “You don’t always get what you want…” stuck in my head. Probably cause I chant it to my kids often. But this time, it is echoing around the inside of my head, strumming to the beat of the flu.
Yesterday we survived an epic adventure. Yesterday, we came head to head with the danger of our natural world. Yesterday, we did what parents do. We loved our kids in a way no one else will. By cleaning up their vomit…
Ah Estes Park, CO. Having lived there for a few summers in college – visiting is always a nostalgic moment. I’ll even pause here to say that if you are looking for a little one-mile jaunt to take some kids on – head on over to Lily Lake off Hwy 7 – the weather broke just long enough for us to walk the beautiful circumference, before it started raining again.
But our adventures were coming to a close [we thought] and it was time to head home. Two minutes down the road, a small strained voice said, “I feel like I am going to throw up.” And what did I do? I ignored it. Oh, you’ll be fine, you are just tired, I thought. I was wrong.
He threw up and threw up and paused…and threw up more. I am sure at this point that winding down Big Thompson Canyon surely didn’t make it better. What really made it worse was our lack of preparedness.
The Tip Jar from yesterdays jaunt to Estes Park [for those new readers, our top 5 from our recent trip]:
- Always keep Lysol disinfecting wipes in the car.
- Maybe extra clothing for the kids is for more than potty trainers.
- Trash bags
- Trash bags
- Trash bags! In the car.
This Tip Jar isn’t the top 5 things that made it successful, but the top 5 things we wished we’d had! And what is worse…we used to have them, we just got lazy. So we made do. We emptied lunch boxes to be used as barf bags [and even had to rinse it in the river cause it overflowed. [Sorry, probably too much information.] And I learned cheap kids lunch boxes aren’t water tight, and neither are vented sun hats, also used in an attempt to contain the mess.
The Meaning of Adventure
With one child puking, and another crying about the smell, and a third whimpering out of sheer exhaustion, Chris and I took a few moments to discuss the true meaning of adventure.
See, we remember times when a storm emerged just as we summited or we broke trail in a blinding blizzard in the middle of the night, cause our snow cave was failing. Those adventures took mental fortitude, bravery, endurance. But some of our most arduous adventures have been simply surviving the car ride home… in a windy canyon… with a sick kid. We would say it took just as much mental fortitude not to lose our lunch too. Even more discipline not to become frustrated with the other whining kiddos. And as my husband said, “a focused mind not to steer the car off the road.”
Parenting is like that. It requires much from you. Only it isn’t nearly as “epic.” There is rarely any glory or recognition given for surviving these events. You may never have bragging rights. But in the end, you have a family, and that is of greater value.
I am not much of a Darwin fan, but his quote seems to apply to parents everywhere:
It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.
Or in other words, adapt and overcome. 🙂