Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Yikes. I'm Kinda Supposed to Be the Grown Up Now?
It didn't really hit me until we were pulling into the parking lot. The bright red sign pointed to Ruby Falls and suddenly the memories came flashing back.
It was 1980 and it was one of those marathon road trips we used to take without DVD players and gameboys and iPods. It was me, my sis, my folks and a whole lotta highway. I'm not sure how she did it, but my Mom had road trippin down to a fine art. We each had a little plastic drink holder thingy that stuck out of the window, a makeshift trashbag in the back, snacks readily available and a host of coloring books, travel games and anything else 2 young girls could need to keep them occupied for hours on end.
She was a magician, really.
During that one particular trip 30+ years ago, Lookout Mountain and Ruby Falls were on the itinerary. And, pulling up today it amazed me that now I am the one making memories for my own boys. (A scary thought, indeed.) Other than a backpack loaded down with snacks and ziplock baggies of wet wipes, my preparation for this last-minute trip was "hey guys! we're gonna go to Chattanooga for a couple days! Put your shoes on and let's go!" I consider it a victory that they both had a clean pair of underwear and a toothbrush to use. Clearly, my expectations are not very high.
Even though I might not have won the prize for The Most Organized and Prepared For Trip of the Century, the overall mission was accomplished. We spent a couple days in the company of family and, well, just having fun. No formal plans, no set agenda, we did as we pleased and took in many of the same sites I did as a young girl.
And, as we reached the end of our half-mile trek through the depths of the cave and reached our final destination--Ruby Falls-- I saw the wonder in my childrens' eyes as they stared at the majesty just like I did way back when. All the "he's touching me!" and the "Mommmm, I'm hungry/thirsty/ needing to go potty" as well as any worry about being "Super Mom" all dissapated as I watched look of sheer awe spread over their faces as they surveyed the brightly colored waterfall before them.
I may not be filling out any applications for Mother of the Millenium just yet... but we made some pretty special memories on this latest journey.
Isn't that what matters?