Mom vs. Jess: Spontaneous Road Trips


Casey sends me a text mid-day Friday
We should go to the casino in Minnesota 
Under 21 at the time
This was the only place we could play Blackjack
Sounds fun to me! Let’s go!
After class/work, we would grab essentials
Phones and chargers
Snack and energy drinks
Both taking turns in the bathroom before heading out
We’d fill up on gas and be on our way in 10 minutes or less
Singing together harmoniously
Chatting about future goals and million dollar ideas
(Ones that all had already been ideas that came to fruition)
It was freeing and exciting
We’d stay up the whole night
Winning money, losing money
Laughing and enjoying each other’s company the whole time
Once we are up some money, we decide to drive back home
Part-way through, we become too weary to drive
Stopping at a motel and sleeping for three hours
Then we are on the road again
Just to get back to Iowa City and sleep the rest of the day.


We decide to visit my family
They are 3 1/2 hours away in Illinois
Last minute decision is to leave Friday night
Instead of Saturday morning
Casey and I still want to get a work out in together
We agree to leave work at 2 instead of three
I start listing on a post it, all the things we’ll need
3 changes of clothes, per kid
1 pair of jammies, per kid
Formula, Bottles, Diapers, Wipes, Snacks, Oliver’s water cup
Once the items are in the car, including the kids from daycare
I still feel like we are forgetting something
Rushing the amount of packing it takes for two little ones
Always leads to something being forgotten
Once, it was diapers
The most basic baby need
Another time, it was blankets
In the car, there is always one kid crying
Sometimes, they both give it a go
I climb into the back seat to tame them
Watching Super Simple Songs on my phone
Oliver loves them
And talking Henry from crying
This continues until one falls asleep
Maybe both for around 20 minutes
Never a single moment of real peace
Holding my breath as they sleep
Waiting until one pops their eyes open and screams
Or has a fit and kicks me in the face
It happens!
Casey is driving and we try to talk to each other
Most of what we say is drown out by screams and cries
Finally, we reach my childhood home
Passing the kids off to Nani and grandpa Cinnamon
For the first time in four hours, I breathe and relax.



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