Country Roads


I never hate my inlaws more than when I am trudging through the crowds at LAX with too many carry ons and things like mittens and boots.

I’m pissed off from the time I start to pack Christmas presents in November, to when I get off the plane disheveled by two unexhaustable children and their frazzled father. You can pack all the goodies and tricks in the world, but nothing sucks the life out of you more than flying across the country with two small children.

I’m fairly certain you lose years off your life from these trips. Throw in an airline that may or may not want you to feed your child, and the happy fun time that is the first snow of the year and you’ve got yourself a toddler and pre-k meltdown madness par-tay. Whoot fucking whoot.

But then something happens. Something happens from the time you wearily say hello to family and drag your overloaded suitcases through a vaguely familiar house to when you wake up the next morning to children eager to play with their only cousins, in from another country.

Something happens when your son sprints to a barn, something only seen to him before in books or zoos, because he knows there is something so special inside, he’s been waiting for nearly half his life to catch a glimpse. His grandfather has told him time and time again he had an honest to goodness real tractor, but the tiny boy just refused to believe it until he saw it for himself.

Riding off into the sunset

Something happens when you watch your daughter pull a gooey marshmallow off a stick and then giggle with delight as the ooze runs down her chin.

Something happens when only cousins talk about their favorite princess vs. their favorite car. Did you know Belle was faster than Lightening McQueen?

Something happens when your daughter runs and screams and chases her older relatives, only to be stopped dead in her tracks by a row of trees and a snowy sunset.

Maple. She's a maple.
That’s when you realize it was worth it. Despite your bitching and moaning and suckers stuck in your hair and the chasing down of matchbox cars and crayons through 4 airplane aisles…it was worth it.

So as I ready my body and my mind to make the trip back from this other world to Los Angeles, I’m wondering how long it will take me to forget that it was worth it and begin my bitching.


  1. That’s what kids are all about man. They ignite your heart when you least expect it, and make all the bad go a way.
    Glad you enjoyed your time there…

  2. Nice! Very well said and as I sit here in the middle of Manhattan, trapped in a tiny cubicle on the 33rd floor, it looks gorgeous. I can easily imagine my little boy getting overwhelmed with excitement at seeing a tractor.

    And you managed to remind me of all of this without making me bitter. 😉

  3. With those pictures, I doubt you could forget. How sweet and wonderful.

  4. Beautiful pictures and beautifully written. Good luck on the trip home. I’m sure it won’t be easy, but I’ll put my good wishes into the Airline Fairy.

  5. Great pictures!

  6. Ahhhh. I’m taking a vaca with you today. Just the being there part, not the traveling. hee hee. Now, where were you? What barn is that? Were you in SD or Summer County? ‘Cause I know their yard is not that big in SD. Or else I don’t remember correctly. Oh, I miss it there. >sigh

  7. Oh yeah, I forgot to add after singing your title in my head: “take me hoooooooooooooome, to the plaaaaaaaaaaaaaace, I beloooooooooooooooooooooong! West Virginiaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, mountain mamaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, take me hoooooooooooooooooooooome, country roooooooooooooooooooads!

  8. Oh you are a good woman! Me? I go straight to the bitching! *sigh* Oh well!

  9. I will have you know that I am reading this the day before leaving for my first airplane trip with my children.

    I am scared.

    I mean REALLY, REALLY scared.

    I’m not flying Delta… so that’s nice. I’m scared of the flight, of the baggage claim, of the shuttle busses and of the rental car place. I’m scared of leaving for the airport on the busiest travel day of the year at 3:30 for an 8:00 flight with a 14 month old and a 2 1/2 year old.

    I might survive it. I might not.

    If you never hear from me again… assume I opened the emergency exit door and jumped.

  10. I hear her vooooooooice in the mornin’ as she caaalls me – “The radio reminds me of my hooome, faaaaaaar away” – and drivin’ down the road I get the feelin’ that I shoulda been hooome yesterdaaaay, yesterdaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!”

    (Okay, yes, I’m nuts. But please note how many hours passed between my last comment post and this one… I tried to hold myself off all day but I couldn’t get the song to go away! hee hee)

  11. Beautiful! Looks like you had a nice enough Thanksgiving to maybe stop you mid sentence through the bitching;)

  12. Sounds like the kids had a great time!

  13. What GLORIOUS photographs. Gosh.

  14. You inspired me….we went off to the country too:)

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  15. In that middle picture? You, in the background, look like a sissified angel of Death. Like, you kind of have the hood and obscured face thing going, but then you’re carrying, instead of a scythe, a MARSHMALLOW?

    OK, my mind is warped.

  16. I love this post. Although the thought of taking my children on a plane across the country makes me want to double up on my Xanax and follow it with a vodka chaser.

  17. This is one post you’ll want the in-laws to find. Maybe send it to them in their Christmas card (minus the last paragraph).

  18. This is fantastic.

    Although I’m not sure if it got me stressed about moving across country with my soon to be two little children, or excited about the prospects of long-awaited visits home.

    But meanwhile – you pack xmas gifts in November? You’re my hero!

  19. I loved this post.

    And couldn’t help but smile.


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