As most of my readers know, next Tuesday, July 25th we will be having a release party for Grace Group, in my hometown of the heart, Yorba Linda, California. As much as it saddens me to be having this momentous event away from Dreamy and the kids, there is some consolation in enjoying TWO two-and-a-half hour plane rides, a bed, and a night’s sleep all to myself while I’m gone. Of course, figuring out how to lug 30 novels to Cali without paying for extra baggage will consume me for the next week. This trip is on the heels of an unexpectedly enjoyable family getaway to the Inland ‘Empire’ of Southern California just last week. (If you’ve never been to this part of the state, I’ll explain the quotes. It is a hot, nasty, hot, barren, hot, desert-like atmosphere, that is also very hot.) Overall, we had a wonderful time, but it was not without its struggles. Here is how I expect the two journeys to compare:
Other than the aforementioned, ridiculously heavy, box o’ books, my prep time for the Grace Group launch will consist of me picking 2 outfits, 3 pairs of shoes and some workout clothes, stuffing them amidst the books, and making sure my kindle and laptop are charged.
Prep time for the family trip included multiple, cross-referenced lists of clothes, snacks, and kindle stories, copious loads of laundries, last minute trips to the grocery store because no one ever remembers baby wipes, resulting in five carry-on suitcases and two backpacks (for a three night stay).
Now, I am not known for my navigational prowess, to say the least. Even with Siri, I usually get lost when on my own (as I did this last trip, trying to find the gym that was allegedly six minutes away). Bisky says this is because I always call Siri a dirt-bag so she doesn’t like me. I explain this is circular logic, but you get the point. When I travel by myself I become distracted taking advantage of all the quiet by phoning people who’ve given up on hearing from me and get lost. It’s kind of a joke amongst all my pre-kid friends.
Believe it of not, this is the ONE area of my life where I’ve gotten more organized with kids. It’s probably because of the laser focus required not to lose any offspring. I plan this down to a gnat’s hiney, including dressing the twins in the same bright color so I can track them visually more easily. Dreamy and I are short, well-oiled machines and we line up those kids in drill-sergeant like precision, and march them through the airport very efficiently. No, really. Except…
When I travel by myself, these aren’t a big deal. I am usually early because I can’t wait to get to quiet places like large, international airports, so that I can read in introverted glory. Gate change? Bah! Delay? Yay! Other people’s kids acting like tiny little a-holes? I am love and tolerance personified, and I expect when I travel next week for the launch, I’ll be so excited about it I will probably even offer to hold babies for tired mommies.
When I travel with the kids, every glitch, delay, and snafu is one more step towards the window of good behavior slamming closed and the complete chaos that will break out when that happens. Going to California last week, we narrowly averted disaster after walking 3,000 miles to the furtherst corners of the airport, only to find out the gate had changed to the original starting point. By this time, the novelty had worn off and the kids were not happy. Luckily, I am freaking brilliant, and got us a ride on the golf-cart thingies, which was one of the highlights of the trip.
Tantrums and Bad Behavior
I am reasonably sure that I will not engage in tantrums and bad behavior on my Grace Group road trip. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but I’ve done a lot of work here and I’ve got me pretty much under control.
The kids on the other hand, not so much. I won’t name names, but SOMEONE got so upset by having to eat their hamburger in the car that they worked themselves into a frenzy crying to go home to the point that the vomited. In the car. Did I mention it was hot? Same kid got mad at me when I wouldn’t let them touch the door leading to outside the airport (because an alarm would go off) so they took off at a dead sprint through the airport, while I had to pick up another kid under my arm chasing after them. I’m pretty sure I won’t do either of these things on my mini book tour.
Overall? It wasn’t as hard traveling with the kids as I thought it would be. They are capable of (if not always willing to) follow direction, they’re fun, and a lot of the time they’re delightful to be around. And I may be a bit biased, but they were very cute walking through the airport with their little suitcases. I will miss them next week for sure. Mostly.
There are so many fun holiday stories I’d like to share, but I think I’ll wait until I have the Grace Group tour under my belt. Unless something really interesting happens this week. You never know!
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PS I’ve written 10 tips on dealing with multiple (conflicting) priorities. If you’d like a free copy, just click here!