Saturday, July 20, 2013

How Graceland Changed Me

We are on our way to Indiana.
7 Carrs jn the car.
This is an important trip for Jeff's mom.  She has been planning this trip in her mind for years.  She sent us a message a few weeks ago saying that this trip was her lifelong dream.
(First thought - shit, that's some pressure - hope I don't screw this up.)

As it turns out, both of Jeff's grandparents died in the last 18 mos, so this will also be a time to remember and celebrate their lives and spread their ashes.  Big family moments for sure.

Driving to Indiana takes about 20 hours.
We have done if once before when we only had 3 kids.  It is funny to me now that it never crossed my mind to worry about putting 2 toddlers and a baby in the car for a cross the country trip.  I am guessing in about 10 more years I will marvel at the memory of putting 5 kids in the car for 14 days.

So as we drive down the road today my mind is on Graceland.
We stopped for the night in Memphis.  For months I have looked forward to our Memphis day.

I worked up plan after plan trying to come up with my perfect Graceland scenario.  I called the box office multiple times to make sure I had the prices right. And somehow, I never bit the bullet and bought the tickets.

Jeff and I have been to Graceland before.  We have done the whole Memphis thing, but I wanted to do it again with the kids.

So we get to Memphis last night and everyone was tired and wanted to check into the hotel.
And then we go to eat supper and everyone is still tired so we go back to the hotel to hit the hay.
And now, at 7:28am it hits me.  We are out of Memphis.  Driving down I40 on our way to Indiana and I am not going to Graceland.
I know, wah.
I put on my sunglasses to try to hide the stoopid tears.  The kids and Jeff are making fun of me.  They think it is funny and maybe even a little cute.
I am not trying to be cute.
My life will go on even though I didn't get to go to Graceland.
I know that.
I am trying to figure out why it makes me sad.
I got nothing.
I think I am just bummed because I don't know when we will ever be back.
I wanted to have a picture in front of the gate with my kids.

I don't want to live my life in such a hurry to get somewhere that I miss the ride.
Why wouldn't we go back 20 minutes this morning to look at a closed gate that I wanted to see?
Seriously, we are going to drive 11 hours today.  What is an additional 40 minutes?
I guess I don't know what Graceland is teaching me right now.
Maybe it is reminding me to stand up for myself and tell people what I want.  Maybe it is that glaring reminder to not have regret and to live every moment.
Maybe the lesson is to not sweat the small stuff.
I guess what I know for sure is that time in the car is not more important to me than the 5 minutes it would have taken to have a picture of me and my kids standing in front of that gate.

I don't know.

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