When my mother-in-law informed us that she wanted her boys and their families at the Blue Family Reunion in Mississippi this summer my heart started to race and my blood pressure started to rise. It wasn't excitement. The first thing I thought about was SNAKES. There is NOTHING I fear more. In fact, I told Eric that if I have an encounter with one I don't know if I could ever forgive him. If it were bad enough, then I would put myself and my babies on the first flight out of Mississippi (he would be welcome to come too, but I wouldn't wait around for him).
The second thing I thought about was the fact that we have three children (ages 5, 3, and 2). No matter how you plan to travel, this would not be easy. But compared to possibly encountering snakes, this I could manage with enough planning ahead. (Yes, I have "control issues".)
The first decision was: Train, Plane, or Automobile? The cost of the train was astronomical, so it was eliminated as a viable option immediately. All expenses considered, both other options cost within a few hundred dollars of each other. So the decision came down to which route would be easier taking three very young children. We decided to drive primarily because Gracie (just two) is in that relatively small window of time (unless you're on a plane with her and then is suddenly seems like a very large window of time) when she doesn't have enough words to always communicate what she needs and can end up screaming when frustrated. I couldn't subject a plane full of strangers to what I knew could happen 20,000 feet in the air.
I know my mother-in-law didn't know what she was asking. It's been a long time since she had kids and the two she had were four years apart. But it was very important to her that this happen this year because her eldest grandchild will be a Senior next year and she fears it might be the last opportunity for everyone to be there at once. I love her dearly, so whether or not I understood, I was willing to do the preparation necessary for forty-something hours EACH WAY in a Chrysler Town and Country Mini Van with three preschoolers.
The upside... I would have enough blog material for the rest of the summer!
Note: We took this road trip in June. We're back now. These posts were prepared in advance and scheduled to post after our return. Check back tomorrow and subsequent days for more tips and for planning a road trip with preschoolers. If you are planning a road trip, let me know. I'd love to follow your journey.