For all of you who donated a tank of gas I write the following.
We were just driving nicely along the hwy, Kaitlyn reading aloud from the book of Isaiah- two little angelic girls sleeping away- when we saw the gas station up on the right and I felt the van begin to slow down. Really? We need gas right now? Again?
Driving this train (we measure 53 feet in total; it feels like a train at times) requires many such stops. If Rich were writing this he would be able to explain -in vocabulary guys appreciate and most of us woman don’t care about, -why our van is such a gas guzzler. But since I am mechanically challenged all I can say is that our big gray van pulling our lion covered trailer drinks a lot of gas.
I watch as Rich begins to pump his leg on the brakes partly to slow this train, and partly to relieve the pain that runs down his right leg and continues to worsen the longer we drive. As soon as we detour for gas the GPS begins to instruct us to, ” Turn around when possible”. It contunes to repeat this message until we turn around, or turn it off. Pulling up to the pumps I give instructions to the remaining six who are awake that if anyone needs to get out to use the bathroom or other; please don’t wake the little ones.
Too late. As soon as the motor turns off they begin to let us know that they are not overly impressed with being woken up. Add one more that needs to use the bathroom, another that needs to nurse and might as well get a diaper change now.
I sit in the front seat nursing the baby under a blanket in the heat, mumbling something about the girls getting woken up. But Rich and I don’t let each other other get away with that kind of thing; so he calls me on it- reminding me to seize the day, enjoy the baby; and mentions one of my favorite songs, “Blown Away” by Josh Wilson. (Link: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=jpPCPJ_rQjU ) He’s right.
Someone behind me declares a bathroom emergancy. Since I am a little busy, and there are already three in the line up I tell the child to wait their turn. This was the wrong thing to say. Too late, again…..bladder emptied all over the van. The good news: one less for the bathroom line up. No, wait, this one needs a bath!
I begin to yell for Josh, since he is the only big kids that I can see. He doesn’t hear me so I also begin to bang on the front windshield from the inside. This of corse, distracts the baby. I have no idea where Rich is. The only persons attention that I am able to procure is the man in car beside us who just stares at me. I shut up and pretend that nothing is wrong.
By the time Rich walks back from wherever he was I give up on feeding the baby, and begin to go into mommy multitasking mania mode. Put baby in playpen. Carry wet child to tub in trailer. Kaitlyn takes the lisol wipes to the van to clean it up. Turn on the water pump and water heater. Where to put pee clothes with no washing machine? (they are still wet in a bag- christian already mistoke the bag for garbage and nearly threw it all away) Wash the contrite child. Unstrap the plastic dressers that need to be tied down while driving to pull out a new outfit. Dress the dripping child. Notice that the latch that keeps our bedroom door in place-and from breaking while driving-is broken. Since this frail divider is our only source of privacy other than the bathroom- who’s door has a continual knocking on the other side- it is pretty important that we fix it. Now. Since we don’t have a large supply of spare repair trailer parts with us, Rich takes some part off of the trailer-good thing he is handy- to tack the door in place. I sure hope that I will still be able to shut it! Wash sticky flip flops. Give them to someone to put in the van. Change the baby. Finish feeding her. Get the left overs from lunch out of the van and put them away. Try to fit things in the fridge; it is full and a glass jar falls on my foot. Get big ones to carry small ones without shoes back to the van. As soon as Annalyse nears the van she starts to cry. Putting her back into her car seat is not fun. Whoever brought the flip flops to the van to dry placed them right on the edge of the door; throw them somewhere farther into the van so that they don’t fall out.
Kaitlyn tries to remember to keep track of the milage, cost, kilometers and town at each stop, so she begins to type the info onto the file on Rich’s phone, but none of us know what town we are in.
After making sure that everyone was back in the van- yes, I do that every time we load up- I glanced at my watch as we pulled out with our expensive full tank of gas. Not too bad all things considered; about 25 minutes.
We should be good to go now for a while. Then again, maybe not. I just noticed that it is nearly time for snack and a coffee. Emphasis on the coffee. We are drinking a little more of that lately!
A friend commented the other day that I must be really good at handling chaos.
I responded honestly: “No, I like clean, calm, and quiet.”
Rich laughed and added, “That’s why we have eight kids!”
Nothing good usually happens without hard work. Life is about choices and more than I like clean, calm and quiet, I love being mommy to our eight kids.
I think that God has a sense of humor.
Thank You to whoever paid for this gas stop; it could have been you!
Tiff -signing off for the Snyder family☺