This past weekend we were able to go and visit our parents and some family members. It is always something we all look forward to and we always have fun, but the one thing that my kids forget until we are like 2 hours into the drive, is that when we go to visit we spend like a total of 15 hours in the car. We do things to break the drive up but really, it is just a lot of sitting and driving. This time the ride was particularly adventurous with potty training. Well, I potty trained her like a month ago, but you just never know how it will go when you don’t have ready access to a potty. We took along the training potty and we used it on the side of the road more than once. I was super nervous about her staying dry through the night, but she did great and kept her new sleeping bag dry the whole trip.
While we were driving we of course had the normal sibling drama happening, “Mom, she is touching me!” “Her foot is too close to me.” “Stop looking at me.” “I don’t want to share the crayons.” You know, it is always interesting to see what is going to be said. It was during those times that I or my cute husband would try and focus the kids’ attention on something OUTSIDE the car. “Hey, look at those construction vehicles.” “Did you just see that purple truck go by?” “Don’t worry we have already gone 3 hours, we only have 4 more to go…” It was a game to get them to stop focusing on each other and what the other person had “done” to them and focus their attention to something that they couldn’t control but that they could see. Other times I really wanted to point out something outside, but they were having a laughing fit about something that was so funny and playing together great. I had to stop myself a couple of times from saying anything and focus my attention on the love and joy that I felt in those moments.
It got me thinking about life. Sometimes it is good to shift our focus outward on things that we can’t necessarily control but that is a good learning moment. Other times when the focus is inward with our family and close friends we need to savor those moments and stop looking for something outside to grab our attention. The best times in life are with the ones we love are in small spaces with loud laughter and tickle wars. Don’t forget to enjoy those times by focusing inward.