The Ford is loaded to the brim. Inside the cab and in the bed of the truck. We are headed north for a few days before Christmas. North is relative, but I believe anything above Montgomery could be considered a foreign country.
The bigger city that we called home for the weekend was filled with some Christmas Spirit. Spirit from the “Grinch” himself. Automobile drivers who have obviously only acquired their driver’s license in the past few weeks filled the streets. It wasn’t limited to the streets though. Shopping centers were filled with drivers vying for the closest parking spot to the local clothing stores. Have you seen the YouTube videos of the crazy road raged drivers who ended up playing bumper cars in Wal-Mart parking lot? Because someone whipped into a parking spot that the other vehicle had been waiting on patiently for three minutes with the blinker properly turned on. A reality television showcould be made out of some of the sights that were seen.
What would have been a blockbuster hit though would be the reality going on inside the Rainey Family Vacation.
Of course as many parents would attest there was plenty ofconstant nagging between siblings. Sounds from the back seat may or may not include: do not touch me with the outermost skin particle that is falling off of your fingertips (not even making actual contact), are we there yet, I’m hungry, he ate the last crumb from the box of Chicken in a Biscuit crackers or can we roll the windows down because of the devastating odor.
Speaking of bodily functions, we stopped seventeen thousand eight hundred and five times to use the restroom. Sometimes we actually made it to a toilet, but others were on the side of the road. Hey, when your four year old (or your wife) has to go, we stop. Driving through what looks like a scene off the movie “Wrong Turn,” and dramatically “I HAVE TO PEE.” The truck comes to a screeching halt, if not bladders will explode and emergency surgery will be required.
We toured local attractions, finished or started Christmas shopping (either way the job got done), but more importantly we ate. While stopped to refuel at one of the chains, my four year old decided to show us a surprise. When he tells you “I have to show you something,” you may want to warn those around you, because forks or food may fly, he may jump onto the table or off the table. But in this case he tried to show everyone in our general area his birthday suit. You can imagine the shades of red that his momma’s face turned.
This brought up a legitimate question later in the truck on the way to the next shopping spot. I asked, “Do you know who is coming tonight?”” Yes sir, Santa Clause is coming.”” Well, do you think you’ve made a good impression on Santa and his Elf this year?” After a brief pause, “Kind of.” “Some of the time I was good, but some of the time I wasn’t.” At least he was honest.
The holidays are a glorious time of year. We decided to take a step back from presents and make memories this year by taking a short vacation. Can I tell you what I hope my kids remember more than any of the toys they receive? Santa did come even if it was for a brief moment. We swam in December. The two younger kids took turns with assistance swimming around the pool. We played baseball against the oldest from the shallow end. Later we had a snowball fight in the hotel room. The temperature my wife likes to keep the room is conducive for the icy goodness. However, these snowballs were merely oversized cotton balls that wouldn’t hurt if a major league pitcher threw one at your face.
Most importantly all of our children know that today is Jesus’s Birthday.