After literally months of planning, the day of the big spring training vacation was finally upon us. My husband Jon and I had been up to late in the night to finish packing the car and preparing the house for our two-week trip.
An 8-hour drive is really way too much, and it's even worse when you know that you have another 8-hour drive stalking you the next day. I had already been scratchy of throat for the previous couple of days, but the 4-hour night's sleep plus the stress of the drive did a weird number on my body, and by the time we arrived at Jon's brother's house around 3 p.m., I had almost no voice left. By that evening, I could hardly talk at all. I felt OK: no fever or anything like that, but I still wasn't sure whether I should handle their 5-month old baby girl. I wanted to see Keigan, but I'd hate to give her her first case of laryngitis. Her parents didn't seem concerned, though, and she *does* get passed around to a whole lot of people in her little life, so I figured that my hoarsness was probably not going to do her in.
It was interesting at Mike and Laurie's house. The NCAA tournament games were on, but one of the first things Mike and Laurie announced was that the baby wasn't supposed to watch t.v. Since she was playing in the room where the t.v. was on, this rule seemed to be enforced with half-hearted attempts to draw her attention the other direction and slight admonishments when she looked at the television. I wasn't sure how to respond, since at 5 months I'm confident that she could not have told the difference between the television at that distance and something that she was allowed to look at. However, I know that when my son Winter was that little that we felt funny about letting him watch t.v., so maybe they just say she's not allowed to make themselves feel better. Or maybe it was for our benefit, like we would judge them for letting her watch t.v. Far be it from us: we'd hooked up a television in the car for Winter to watch during the drive!
Mike and Laurie made us a lovely dinner from scratch and everything, which I didn't get to enjoy as much as I would have liked, since by that point I was violently tired and almost completely unable to speak. I'd taken to whispering to Jon who would then relay my sentiment if necessary or, if not, just chuckle or respond however he felt was appropriate, leaving the rest of the room to ponder what I might have said. I went to bed early; Jon stayed up as late as he could to watch games with his brother.
It was a long, boring, exhausting day, filled with wierd health issues and a cranky 3-year old in the back seat. So far, it was not the wonderful, relaxing, life-changing event that I'd been hoping for. But I knew that we were paying our dues early and that things would get better. If we could survive the drive, that is.