Over the Christmas/New Year holiday, my family drove a jet black minivan across state lines to visit friends. My wife and I with our five sons spent about nine hours traveling just on the first day.
Being budget conscious, we planned to stay overnight at a random Super 8 motel. No reservation. We found one in a good spot near a Dunkin Donuts and a Chik–Fil–A next door. Coffee for dad, playground for kids!
The hotel was recently renovated and clean. But this sub-$100 hotel had just two double beds. So my four oldest sons shared a bed sleeping sideways. My 12 year old wasn’t thrilled. Let’s do fancy writer talk: he was non-plussed.
My wife and I plus our 3 year old shared the other bed; the little guy tosses and turns a lot! His little feet sometimes wound up on my side. I got about 5 hours of fitful sleep. Not too bad, really.
Around 4am though, I grabbed my phone and made online reservations for Embassy Suites on the way back! We will be getting a two-room corner suite with two beds, a couch, and a pull-out bed! The difference should be like night and day.
Not being able to sleep, I got up early and pecked out this blog post on my iPhone. But this experience is good for us all: family time and memories.
My kids are learning how to get along with others when outside the normal routine and comfort zone. And the extended time together has provided more “teachable moments” than usual. I’m also practicing the art of being flexible. As a dad, I try to maintain a level of control over things, but life exceeds my superpowers pretty much everyday.
That’s why there’s coffee.