This is the time of year when families begin making plans for summer travel. I come from a tradition of horrendous family vacations. There was the trip where my brother got his head stuck between the railings at a hotel and we had to call the fire department to free him. Another time, my sister and I became violently ill after playing in a bidet while on a trip to the Poconos. The worst trip, however, was when my parents decided it would be fun to take a train to visit my uncle in Texas. My parents made reservations to leave Erie, PA on Christmas morning, which was also the during the worst snowstorm of the year. The entire city was buried under snow, and our train was leaving at 4:30AM. My parents woke us up at 2AM. We quickly opened our Christmas presents and then piled into the family station wagon. My siblings and I began arguing in the backseat. My mother started fussing at us, and my father started yelling that he couldn't see anything in the blinding snow. Before we knew it, we had skidded off the road and landed in our neighbor's ditch. We didn't even make it off our street!
We began the hike back home. At some point, my father had to carry me. He tripped and we both landed in the snow! I began crying as tears froze to my face. My parents had to buy new tickets but could not change the return date. The trip ended up costing my parents over $2,000. We spent 36 hours on the train ride to get there, 1 day in Texas, and another 36 hours back. To this day, they don't regret it because looking back, the trip was a laugh a minute and created memories that we will never forget.
The last month of school is the hardest. I start off each school year with a plan. We all wake up on time, pack nutritious lunches, eat breakfast at the table, and put on the outfits that we assembled the night before. As the year progresses, it becomes harder and harder to wake up on time. The kids pack their own lunches. Breakfast is eaten in the car. We arrive late to school, and I must endure the parental walk of shame.
Still, we continue to make an effort to finish the year with a little bit of dignity. I even volunteered to chaperone my daughter's kindergarten field trip to Sea Life one year. We spent the whole day exploring, looking at exhibits, petting sea creatures, admiring the octopus. It was a fun but exhausting trip. We returned to school with an hour to spare, and I took full advantage. I parked my van early in the school's car line for afternoon pickup. I rolled down my windows, reclined my seat, took off my bra Flash Dance style, unbuttoned my jeans, and rested my eyes. It had been a very long day!
I didn't mean to fall all the way asleep but I did in a matter of seconds. I was startled out of my deep slumber by the sound of my van door opening. Before I could comprehend what was happening, I saw something fall out of the door as the teacher was opening it. Was it trash? I wish. I watched the teacher bend over to retrieve what fell out of my van. I was mortified when I saw what it was. It was my discarded, extra large, sweaty bra! The teacher picked it up with two fingers and handed it to me!
All I could do was manage a sheepish "Thank you," as I mentally begged for this school year to end.
Living the JACK'd Life
I am a certified birth doula (BAI) in Charlotte, NC . I provide information and support to pregnant individuals and couples so they can have satisfying and empowering births. I am a married mother of 4 trying to navigate life, unafraid of sharing my truly JACK'd up missteps.