I cannot remember feeling this excited about going there before: butterflies in my stomach – smile I can’t wipe off my face – a skip to my step as I clear out the trunk of my car of all the extraneous stuff that tends to gather there.
It has been two years since we have been to Flagstaff. Time goes so quickly and with children in high school, college and now in junior high, it is nearly impossible to sync schedules. This year I threw the need to sync to the wind and Emma is staying here. She just got back from Washington, DC, after all. I am still recuperating from that trip but am very excited to hit the road this time.
Perhaps it’s the thought of a roadtrip with Katherine, my most happy-to-roadtrip child. Maybe it’s the train ride to the Grand Canyon we are planning on our final day in the area. I have wanted to ride that train for as long as I can remember but have always scoffed about the expense.
Well, the expense is still there, but my desire and feeling “hey, we only live once and Samuel has never been to the Grand Canyon and this is a way I think he will really enjoy it!” won out so I bought tickets.
I actually sat still for a minute to scan my body for anxiety.
There was none.
I have no anxiety about the trip at all, which is also a strange condition for me.
Maybe that is why I am so excited. The lack of tension feels like such a grand thing! It gives us more opportunities to build lasting memories for my children, especially Samuel, who was not very enthusiastic when I told him we were going.
“Why do I have to go?” Samuel asked me.
I mumbled a few reasons that felt inadequate and added, “Plus we’re visiting your grandparents. They want to see you.” The tears that stung my eyes told me I wanted him to see them and I wanted to see them seeing each other.
My parents are now older than all their parents lived to be. They are in their 80’s and relatively healthy, yet many of their friends have died. I am ever conscious we may not have a “next visit” and try to live each visit as if that were so. It might sound morbid on first reading, but when you think about it from an inner core perspective, you will recognize how enlivening it is.
It reminds me to be intentional, to not waste the moments with trivia, to watch and listen and be open to any threads of stories or traces of my grandparents in my parents so that I can retell their stories to my grandchildren who can in turn share the stories with their grandchildren.
We’re scheduled to leave at six a.m. I plan to pack up the car before I go to sleep. I look forward to waking up!
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