My family and I are currently homeless. Sorta. We had to be out of our rental at the beginning of the summer and our new build won't be ready until late fall. I'm sure most normal people would have rented an apt or some other small space to get them to the finish line. But I am not normal.
I convinced Husband to pack all of our belongings into 2 POD's and with just our suitcases, a few snacks and an Instapot, we hit the road. I called it our Gypsy Summer and the plan was to travel all over the state of TX, staying with friends and family and going where the wind and the Holy Spirit would take us. Husband travels for work so we would meet up with him every few days or so before we took off to our next location. This sounds totally sane, right? I thought so. All was good until night #2 when we piled in bed at my brother's after a fun day of swimming and BBQ. Once the room got quiet, the littlest Patton said "mama, I wanna go home." #oops
I pacified him with a few vague responses and then off to sleep we went. Later that week when my nondescript answers would no longer suffice, I looked him square in his adorable 2-year-old face and said "you don't have a home." Probably not my finest parenting moment, but we all survived. Place to place, city to city, friend to friend, we hopped around TX in the 187 degree heat and did our best to fill the days with swimming and ice cream and adventures galore.
Overall it went pretty well, but the summer was definitely not without its hiccups. A rash, a ear infection and a toddler who decided it was time to potty train added to the excitement. We got quite the variety of reactions when we told people what we had planned. Everything from “sounds like fun” to “you are doing WHAT?!?!?!” But as I sit here tonight in my loaded car while the rain beats down and the thunder rolls, I have to say I'm glad we did it.
I will wake up tomorrow morning at my inlaw's house, who have graciously allowed us to crash upstairs, and I will unload the car, wash the laundry, get out the school uniforms and find the lunch boxes. When I wake up tomorrow, our gypsy summer will officially be over. As I type that, I feel a lump in my throat and a burn in my heart. It was a lot of work, but it was also a lot of fun.
Looking back, here are a few of the rewards of our summer:
* We got time, precious time, with people, precious people, that we don't typically get in our regular life.
*My kids learned to be way more flexible than I thought was humanly possible.
*I learned that my people don't have the same wanderlust in their souls like I do.
*We all got out of our comfort zones. We tried new places and things and foods and stops off the beaten path.
*We saw how much being together really is a core value of our family.
*We all became even more grateful for the small things.
That’s it! Grateful. Grateful when your favorite shorts were clean or when an afternoon rain cooled things down for a bit. Grateful that our friends back in Dallas missed us and that our families took such good care of us. Grateful for road trip dance parties and late night snuggle fests. It was a summer of simplicity and it did all of us some good.
But school starts in 2 days and I am starting to warm up to the idea of regular bedtimes and more routine in our weeks. I am pretty sure when the day comes, I will take all the pix and give all the hugs. I will double check the backpacks and triple check the lunch boxes. Then I will try not to knock over any of the other precious mommies on the way back to my car. I will march my sweet little self down to the coffee shop, sit in the corner in all my glorious aloneness and contemplate what my children will tell their therapist about me one day.