On our way back from the Cabin we stopped along Lake Michigan, Ironically, it was the same place that Eric and I had stopped four years earlier, the very first day I was pregnant. TMI? Sorry. I guess it's a place that will always be important to us. Anyway, we stopped just shy of the bridge to let the boys burn off some energy in hopes they would sleep for a few hours on the ride home.
They boys had a blast walking along the sand and in the water, but much to our surprise, they did not sleep for any length of time on our 4-5 hour journey. I honestly don't remember much of the trip except for the fact that I worked hard to keep them entertained. I had finally had enough just an hour or so to go when Eric demanded that we change from Kid Music to Adult Music. With both boys whining and asking for toys that had fallen out of their reach, Eric said, "Mom's on break. She can't help you right now". I had just told the boys in a very distressed tone that they had to play with the toys that were on their tray and nothing else for 15 minutes, but when Eric said that, the whining stopped and it was quiet. They actually listened to him! HOW?! What kind of magic did he have and how could I get some? I'm sure it was because he was around for a few days and held the "We only see you once every 43 days" wand, but I gladly took the break!
Eric and I had a chance to talk for a little while about real things, I checked Facebook (I had over 100 messages wishing me a Happy Birthday and they all came in at once when my signal came back) and we just kind of enjoyed the road trip like we used to back in the good 'ole days. It was nice. The boys started to ask for something in a needy way and Eric announced, "Nope, Mom's not done yet" and they went back to playing. I was astonished. It made me chuckle a bit but I went back to enjoying a nice and quiet trip.
The boys played for a good long time and at one point I looked back at them, looked at Eric and smiled. I couldn't stop. My family was whole once again. It wouldn't be for long, but it was right in that moment and it was perfect. Have you ever looked at your family from an outsider perspective? That's what happened to me, I swear time slowed down, the music faded into the background (Ironically it was Home by Phillip Phillips- a song that reminds me of my life with Eric), I was looking at my family and I saw my boys, all there in one place. The little ones were playing cars and with their toy phones, they were playing with one another and were more than content. Eric was driving and singing along to the music and I was there looking at myself and I saw how happy I was. It was so odd, but such a magical moment. When I snapped out of it I feared we'd all die in a car crash because I'd had some out-of-body experience.
When my break was over I went back to fishing for fallen toys and searching for the last few packs of fruit snacks and had to settle down Theo as he demanded to exit the car (he even threw in a few pleases he was that done). When we finally pulled into my parent's driveway, we quickly got the boys and dog out of the car and told them to run around to find Mimi and Pop Pop. As they ran off, Eric and I looked at the mess in the car, the bags that needed to be carried and then back at each other. Vacation was over, our visit with Eric was rapidly coming to an end and our normal life began. I leaned over to Eric, gave him a hug and told him to leave it all for later, he was surprised but didn't argue. We walked indoors and with the closing of the garage door, our vacation was over.