Ford Motor Company let me take a brand spanking new Ford FLEX on a round-trip Thanksgiving vacation Road Trip from Rhode Island to Pittsburgh. 10 hours. 550 miles. And 4 boys. Oh… and let me throw into the mix head colds for all of us. Oh, yes.
And you want to know something? The FLEX handled it all. A 6’2″ man. Me, his 5′ wife. And our 4 boys, 4-years and under.
Usually we “roll” in a Chevy Uplander. Which we love. We do. But as our family expands, we have begun to see that we need some additional items in our vehicle of choice. What would be the first thing? More room between seats. MORE. ROOM. IS. A. NECESSITY.
The FLEX? Oh, it had room. Honestly… it was like the 4 boys were each in their own separate lazy-boy leather seats. They kicked back. Relaxed. And enjoyed the ride.
PLUS! And I twittered about this along the way… the FLEX has a a fridge in it. We bought a half gallon of milk and were set for the trip… both ways. No stopping every other hour for “milk please MOM!” Especially when we found ourselves driving on the way home with Amoxicillin that needed to be refrigerated once opened. This, for us, was a lifesaver.
Which brings me to Thanksgiving…
Hopefully you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving this year. Mine started off with a Turkey Trot through downtown Pittsburgh. This is something (a 5K, that is) that I have been wanting to do for a long time. My husband and I were joking with my sister-in-law that for the past 2 Thanksgiving’s I have been pregnant. And the two before that? Well… I had a 2-month old infant… each year. So this Thanksgiving, I was giving thanks to being alive and healthy. And in having my husband and sister-in-law there running along with me. It felt good. I felt like I accomplished something.
The rest of the day was a little more difficult. My Benjamin got sick Wednesday night. And when I say sick, he (literally) cried for 12 hours. Not a wailing cry… more like a wimpering cry. Like a hurt little puppy. It broke my heart. I was trying to comfort him and hold him and hug him all Thanksgiving morning and afternoon. I was so exhausted by 2PM that when the boys went down for naps, I went to lay down, too. Ask anyone who knows me… this is something I never, ever do. But Benjamin just couldn’t get comfortable.
My mother-in-law had spent all morning and afternoon cooking our family meal, so I wanted to make sure we were all present for that. My mother-in-law is someone I really never blog about… mostly because I like to respect people in my family (in-laws included) in not publicly blogging about everything and anything. I keep everything pretty much based around me, Matt and the boys. But my mother-in-law… she’s a terrific cooker, baker, food prepper. She’s just good at it. I could say I wanted a cheese omelette at 2AM and she’d make one. That’s just how she is. So our meal? It was turkey with all the trimmings… and then some. And as always… she had my favorite green bean casserole.
As soon as she called that it was time to eat… Benjamin just kept crying. I had him on my lap in the dining room, but that was doing no good. He just was not well. My mother-in-law, God bless her… took all the boys from me and brought them into the living room so I could have a hot meal. This is something that meant a great deal to me… because whether she knew it or not, my body was about to collapse from exhaustion from the race and trying to keep Benjamin comforted… and food was what I needed. And just a 10 minute mental break to sit and eat something delicious. I got not only that… but I actually got to sit and talk with my husband and sisters-in-law. For that I was grateful. We’re never visiting anymore without the kids… so it was nice to be able to chat and laugh and just get updates on each others’ lives.
But by then… Benjamin was just getting worse. So off to the ER Matt and I went with Benjamin. Only to be told about his double ear infections. I have never been so glad to know it was something. He was so not himself and so miserable… that it was good to hear that it was something. And we didn’t have to go digging even further for an answer.
So how do we tie in the FLEX, a hot meal and an ear infection all in one day?
Well… as you can see… the FLEX got us around, the hot meal sustained us… and the ear infections? Well, that has now become a memory for Benjamin to be able to share every year with his brothers. “Oh… remember the Thanksgiving Mom and Dad had to take me to the ER because I wouldn’t stop crying?” And I will say… walking into the ER with a boy who just needed his ears checked – that was a moment in being grateful and thankful. When I saw the other children there who were really sick… and 2 elderly women all hooked up to machines… it is moments like that where you truly give thanks.
We’re now home. The trip back to RI last night took 14 hours in the pouring rain and holiday traffic. But the FLEX? Ahh… it made a long, dark, cold night easy as Thanksgiving pie and cold Amoxicillin.