It had to be done. I missed my people. My kids missed their people. We had to make a visit to Virginia. Four kids. One adult. 15 hour road trip. Its enough to make you NOT want to attempt it.
The day after Christmas, we hopped in the car, fully stocked with snacks, movies, and books on CD. There was one rule.Don’t lose your mind and we’ll all be okay. I prepared myself for all sorts of behavior and nonsense. Let me just say that as long as we stopped EVERY 2 HOURS, no exceptions, whether they had to use the bathroom or not, we kept it together. Also, flavored candy sticks from Cracker Barrel are fantastic incentives for maintaining sanity. 8/$1.00 bought a lot of peace in my van.
I can not tell you how elated I was when we crossed the border into Virginia and I saw the Blue Ridge Mountains. Comfortable. Familiar. Home.
Each of the older kids had a buddy to spend 24 hours with. In other words, we needed a 24 hour break from one another. They all had their people again. That was enough to make me teary. Not that I was sad to be home, but happy they could have their time, just for them. I was fortunate to spend the night with a dear sister, whose family gladly took my baby girl for the evening so we could enjoy time out with other girlfriends. Within 24 hours, I eeked out as much time with my people as possible.
The rest of our time in Virginia was spent with family. It was lovely to just take a deep breath, stay in my pajamas and allow the grandparents to do what they do best, spoil my children. I couldn’t have asked for a better Christmas gift.
I knew the visit would be physically exhausting. I was fully prepared for a long recovery from the whirlwind week and a half. I was not prepared for how I would feel. I honestly believed that I would have a harder time, emotionally. I missed my family and my friends. I missed the beauty of Virginia. However, I was not sad.
There is so much I am thankful for in Louisiana. When asked how I like Louisiana, without hesitation I said, “The people, I love the people.” This place has captured my heart. I have cried with this community. I have felt the pain and the heartache of all they have tried to overcome. This was God’s plan from the minute we arrived, to open ourselves to a place that desperately needed all of the support they could get. Its not that we have done anything spectacular, but who doesn’t need an extra person praying for them or another smile on a dark day? I am learning to open myself up to the work God wants done, even if that means moving from everything comfortable and familiar. Being captured isn’t such a bad thing.