Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Journey of 2,919 Miles, Give or Take--Epilogue

To my dear, dear children (who may or may not fall into this sign's category),

Thank you for three weeks of summer memories. I watched you sleep, listened to your snores, shared your dreams. I fed you new food and showed you beautiful places. I disciplined you and hugged you. How is it that I think I learned more than you did?
Thank you for showing me how incredible our world is and how important it is to stop and smell and run and climb and walk and ride and taste and listen. You already know, but I'm still learning that it's not a race to the destination--the journey itself is fantastic. Thanks for making me stop for a quick hike to pick flowers and see snow. Thanks for pointing out beautiful bluebirds and breathtaking views. Thanks for laughing at musicals and offending smells (wherever and whenever they happened). Thanks for quick park visits and time to be.
Thank you for hours and hours in the Suburban. The time I was dreading the most while traveling became some of my favorite. I loved looking back at the three of you in various states of consciousness and messiness, staring out the window or reading or playing. I loved laughing with you and listening to endless hours of Harry Potter and the . . . So many inside jokes we now share about the wizarding world. Quidditch needs to be real, I agree.
Thank you for reminding me how much I like you. As your mom, I hope you know that I will always love you and be in your corner, cheering you on and fighting for you. I never forget that part, but sometimes in the day-to-day routines of life, I forget how much I really like you--your jokes and your quirks and your awesome personalities. I would choose you to be my friends, and I am thankful we are more than friends: I am grateful we are family.
Thanks for the spirit of adventure and excitement you kept around you from the first day until we pulled into the driveway on the last. Everything we did was joyful. Not everything we did was perfect, nor was everything we did always positive or argument-free, but you always kept the excitement of the adventure with you. From elevators in hotels to lizards toasting in the sun to the majesty of the Rocky Mountains, you were happy to just be there and experience it all.
Thank you for slowing me down by holding my hand, or hugging my neck, or asking me, "Do you see this beautiful view?" I did, and often the beauty of the view wasn't in the deer by the side of the road or the waterfall spilling down the mountain--it was you sliding down a banister or your smiling face across from me.
Finally, thank you for your patience with me. Across nine states and over 2,900 miles. In caves in South Dakota and bear exhibits in Idaho. At restaurants and movie theaters. On horses and trains and roller coasters and endless hours in the Suburban.  With extended family and alone just the four of us. It was glorious. It was exhausting. It reawakened my joy. It taught me patience. It was incredible, and we were together every single step of the way.

Now this long journey we took is part of our family's history--wedged firmly in the middle of Ben's mission, between Heidi's babies, and concurrent with Dad's and Lily's big adventure. We will always have this special time together, just me and the three of you.
I love you. Thanks for the memories. I will cherish them (and you) forever.


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