Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tips on Road Trips with Young Children

Last week we found out that my husband's father wasn't doing too well. In a way this wasn't completely out of the blue, but it was still unexpected. Pat has been fighting leukemia for over a year, but last we knew, he was doing pretty well. He had been at a Sacred Heart in Seattle going through treatments including a bone marrow transplant and had just gone home to Spokane because he was doing so well. Then we got a call on Tuesday morning (a little over a week ago) from his sister (Aaron's aunt), informing us that he might not make it. He had some infections that caused one of his lungs to collapse and he was having trouble breathing.

Immediately, I told Aaron that I would support whatever decision he made in terms of going to see his dad. He debated on whether he wanted to go. He was behind in classes, and it would be difficult to get there. And I think that he truly believed his dad would make it, so in a way there was no immediate need to go see him. On top of that, one reason Aaron wanted to go was he really wanted his dad to see Alex one last time, and we found out that Alex wouldn't be able to go into the ICU, so that point was moot.

So we continued to debate the pros and cons of going when Aaron got a call around 12:30 a.m. on Thursday saying that his dad wasn't doing well at all. They put the phone up to Pat's ear and although Pat couldn't talk, Aaron was able to tell him he loved him. Still, he was hoping his dad would get better, and he got off the phone with his family when Pat started to improve some. But then the news came around 2 a.m. that Pat had passed on from this life.

We now had another decision to make: Do we drive to Spokane for the funeral? It's about a 12-hour drive, with a toddler, and because of classes, we would basically drive up one day, go to the funeral the next, and then drive home the third. It wasn't a fun prospect, but in the end, we made the right decision. The sacrifice of traveling there was worth it for Aaron to be at the funeral, spend time with his family, and say good-bye to his dad. It's what he needed and I'm glad Alex and I could be there to support him.

So since this is a blog about tips on how to run a household and be a mother, I figured it would be appropriate to share with you what I learned from the trip, which will hopefully help you in future car trips. Because there is a lot of information, I'm going to split them up into their own blog posts. They'll basically be together, but if you want to see which posts are just about car trips, just click on the "road trips" category, which can be found to the right.

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