Hail and well met, readers of this post. There is no need for me to point out how rarely there are posts on this site, but the fact remains that there are rarely posts on this site. I am endeavoring to remedy that by composing content I would not be ashamed to publish. Whilst I despair in front of a blank page and shriek about how it should not be this difficult to write articles, I hope you will enjoy this extraction from my journal detailing a bit of my family’s August road trip. Names have been changed to protect identities.
Cast of Characters:
Daniel–the eldest, the wisest, affectionately christened W.O.L. by the A.A. Milne connoisseurs of our home.
Cyrus–Beanpole younger brother. Mission in life: to prove that punchlines from movies are the funniest when quoted completely out of context.
Niemah–only sister, Niall Horan enthusiast. Vainglory: her abundantly luscious golden locks.
Fatty, Merry, & Pippin–Three musketeers/amigos. The chaotic trio that upends life consistently.
Day One Entry:
We began our massive super mega trip today. Dad instructed Daniel to drive the van with all 8 of us kids to the home where it’ll be parked till we return as he and mom went to sign off on the rented vehicle. It had started to rain–hard–when we pulled into the rental place, but as Daniel took the wheel and drove us kids to the home, blasting musicals and yelling them at the top of our lungs, we pulled ahead of the rain and drove into blue skies.
Arriving, Daniel and I looked at each other as if to say “what do we do with these restless youths?” The answer came as we piled out of the car in front of the quite, pristine home where our reformed assault vehicle will be till our return: we were going to shock the neighborhood with their first sight of homeschooled siblings without parents.
I took Owen out, and off he toddled till he decided pavement should be inspected thoroughly by sitting on it. When I turned around after taking care of THAT, I found that the rest of the clan had excluded me from the “no shoe” memo. Cyrus and Daniel looked at my sneakered feet and, shaking their heads, declared I wasn’t cool enough to be part of the gang. Indignantly, and right in the middle of the upper class suburban street, I hopped out of my gyms and ripped off my socks, regaining my membership of the gang and horrifying a neighborhood couple loading up their posh little trailer for a posh little getaway.
We hadn’t walked more than 5 minutes when the storm we out-drove caught up with us, and boy was it ready for attack. It was an H20 invasion, the vertical version of what the ring wraiths experienced at the ford of Rivendell. We weren’t far from our car, but it was far enough that we were properly drenched before taking ten steps. Cyrus led the panic, sprinting like a white Gus from Psych to the van, with Niemah and the three musketeers strung out behind him like so many carefree gypsies.
Daniel slung Owen onto his back and we jogged after them, soon catching up to Pippin. Owen was having a ball on his wet, sped up human carousel ride. Two of his favorite experiences, piggy back rides and water, had seemed to come together just for his explicit pleasure, and he couldn’t stop laughing as he joggled on his brother’s back.
Pippin soon clung to my hand with one of his own as he shielded off the rain with the other, our bare feet slapping the sopping asphalt as we ran to the cover of the garage overhang. We all stood underneath it, breathlessly yelling at each other how wet we were and gazing at the Amazon downpour with joy only felt when in the middle of an adventure.
There was an unspoken desire in every heart, yet each was hesitant to act, the younger ones for fear of reprimand, the older for being deemed a bad example. Cyrus solved everything by stepping forward and looking directly at me. “I’m already wet,” he shrugged, and dashed back into the fray, reveling in the fury of the water droplet army invading the atmosphere.
“Monkey see monkey do” as the saying goes, and the three amigos joined their bean pole brother in his delight of the deluge. Before I could blink or go “now wait a darn second” four boys were shirtless and shrieking and sliding in the grass, which God had turned into a waterslide for them.
While all of this was happening, Owen was in my arms, underneath the shelter of the garage roof, expressing vocally and physically that he wanted to be anywhere but there, and anything but dry. At last I gave in, and he laughed as his upturned face was attacked by the roaring droplets.
Daniel recorded the madness of Cyrus, Fatty, Merry and Pippin as they blasted through puddles and landed on their bums while Owen came after them as fast as he could until I pulled him back under the garage for fear he’d catch cold. He watched his brothers’ antics from the folds of a towel in my or Daniel’s arms, not content, but not upset. He finally reached out for me and I decided to dash into the jam-packed van for complete dryness. I hadn’t been inside the car more than 30 seconds, trying to make room to dress Owen when the cargo door opened and the children piled in, letting in water, laughter, and the sound of tornado sirens.
“We’re right in the middle of the storm” Daniel announced as he slid into the driver’s seat and turned on the heat. We said a quick prayer and commenced to dig through the luggage for dry clothes. For 20 minutes we chattered and scanned the horizon. We saw no tornado, only a grand canyon-decorated RV pulling around the corner. The parents had arrived…
Until next time.