Wow, what a week [two as one of the weeks was preparing]- a road trip to Yellowstone Park-our first with our children.
Our daughter’s boyfriend Stefan from Germany was with us and he was baptized into our large family life- eight of us squeezed into a Chevy Minivan – with all our gear.
Can you say Family Fun on steroids.
Why do I love road trips so much with my family? Is it the adventure? Is it that there is no computer to call me away or neon lights for my children or commitments or friends or responsibilities or the constant feeling that I need to update my blog?
I think it is likely all of that but mostly it is having my entire family, all of us together, the joy the laughter the craziness the interaction the togetherness, the excitement of seeing and experiencing a new part of the country together.
Our first stop took us to Cousins Restaurant in The Dalles Oregon for breakfast and a family had their two young children [age 4-5] playing their hand held video games during breakfast and it seemed sort of sad to me, that this couple was not interacting with their children.
Sure, our table was the crazy one, with conversations of noticing the tractor in the
restaurant and what was the best thing to order on the menu and how the hot chocolate tasted and what we would be seeing and who had the best seat in the van (if that was possible) and I just looked at my family and listened to my family and savored the moment.
The entire camping road trip family vacation to Yellowstone and the Tetons was one of savoring.
Savoring beauty surrounding us, the Yellowstone Park wonders, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, the river winding through the Grand Canyon, the Tetons, the Natural Bridge, the rivers, the wooded campgrounds.
And especially savoring the conversations, the wonder of children looking for bison and deer and bears and hearing my 6-year-old ask, “Where are all the yellow stones?” . . . so much of the trip we kept pointing out all the yellow stones.
I savored listening to the excitement when our youngest would see the hot springs welling up and finding sticks and the bubbling water and Old Faithful and I watched and listened to the sweetness.
I thought of Mary the mother of Jesus treasuring in her heart what people were saying about Jesus in Luke 2:19. And I too was treasuring for an entire different reason, but treasuring nonetheless, like a mother does her children, I treasured in my heart these amazing moments with my family. The entire 8 days together.
I did not want to think about this possibly being one of our last all of us together family vacations for a while, as Rachel is 19 and Ryan just turned 18. I would not allow my joy to be stolen away, but for a moment the thought came to me. Yes, it made me melancholy as I tend to be anyway.
But this is the ultimate melancholy,that my kids are growing up and creating lives of their own…
I am so enjoying my older children (and my young ones of course as well!), it’s just that with the older ones I have these amazing conversations about life. The inspiration I gain from their knowledge, their wisdom, their insights, their thoughts, their ideas, their idealism, their love for the Lord, their love for the Word of God, their love for reading His word together. I am learning from them. I am reminded of my dreams. And having 8 full days together, of late nights at the campfire, and on hikes and walks in God’s beautiful creation was nothing short of a gift.
One I will continue to treasure in my heart.