Thursday, August 13, 2009
Love, insanity, and two kids.
We had been driving for 3 hours and somewhere between the small towns of Camilla and Albany, Georgia...our car turned into a war zone. It had been a long journey to Florida for our vacation and the journey home seemed even longer. Koen was at the end of his little tiny rope and was screaming in the back seat. I kicked off my flip flops, clumsily climbed into the back seat, and squeezed my butt between the two car seats. With one hand propped to hold the pacifier in Koen's mouth and the other arm being held hostage by Griffin (who thinks it's so cool when I sit in the back that he enthusiastically grabs at my arm and kisses it all over, which is sweet but not so easy when you are crammed into that little space) I fought with all of my might not to break down into tears along with Koen.
Little did I know that things would unravel to an even more insane place.
Griffin got in on the action and decided to start screaming too. He put his hands over his ears, closed his eyes, shook his head manically, and yelled "DON'T PANIC GRIFFIN!" over and over at the top of his lungs. The poor kid flips out when Koen freaks out and that is unfortunate for the entire family. Especially when you are all crammed in the car. It takes so much work not to flip out on Griffin for flipping out over Koen who is flipping out because he is just a baby and that's what babies do.
Roger tried to troubleshoot and shouted from the front seat, "Griffin, are you hungry?" Because whenever Griffin is hungry he turns into a drunk frat boy. We have solved many tantrums by simply force feeding him pretzels more than once.
"NO, I'M NOT HUNGRY!" was his response. Meanwhile, Koen had crossed over into exorcist proportions, was bright red, and flailing his arms.
It was, in a word, insane. My heart rate sped up and my head throbbed.
I! Was! Going! To! Freak my freak! Needless to say, none of this madness would make it into our sweet home Movie.
Roger caught my eye in the rear view mirror and smiled the kindest smile. He just shook his head with a slight giggle and mouthed the words "I love you." I let out a sigh and mouthed back, "I love you too." Then we just locked eyes in the reflection and shook our heads and smiled at each other. All of the noise dissolved around me, although both of the children were still screaming. Suddenly, it didn't matter that everything was falling apart. We were in this thing together and in the end, our love would endure all of the tantrums and hardships that come with being parents. As long as we stay connected and don't let the crazy moments divide us, we will be a strong family.
The truth is, that we wanted this life, insanity and all. If we didn't have these children, my life would seem aimless. I realized in that moment what being a family was all about, loving each other no matter what happens. It means laughing at the hard times as well as the funny moments.
We stopped the car and Roger got out with Griffin. They threw rocks into the woods on the side of some no name road we had pulled over on. I saved Koen from his dreaded car seat and nursed him in the car. After we had strapped the children back in and had gotten back on the road, I climbed back into the front seat next to Roger. The children were like little angels in the back seat.
Roger reached over and grabbed my hand. We held hands for miles and miles.