Lessons in God’s Country

I have been planning our trip to Montana and turning my preparations into a fine art over the last month because, being a Florida girl, I had no idea what to expect on our vacation “glamping” in big sky country. More worrisome than packing for a new place was getting there with my sanity intact considering it was a full day of flying and layovers and then a small drive to our ranch. With a toddler who had never flown and an excited 5 (and a half…the half part being most important to her) year old, I dreaded the travel day and planned mostly for it. Much to my surprise and delight (that was not expressed until we were on the ground in Montana because my husband and I have learned to NEVER acknowledge the good while it is happening with kids because they hear it and immediately change for the worse), they were fantastic, stellar, model children throughout the entire day of traveling. Both easily entertained (which included the sticker pads recommended by working mother assistant…thank you!), tired but not cranky or fussy ,patient in their seats and happy to boot.
We arrived and were struck first by the temperature. We are used to hot, muggy and salty smelling weather but here it is cool, fresh, crisp, clean and wonderful. The scenery is stunning and does make you feel in “God’s country.”
I have always considered myself an adaptive person who loves the outdoors. In college, friends and I would camp monthly, if not more. I don’t mind being dirty and generally enjoy what the outdoors offers. However, I have not camped since we had children and I realize, even “glamping”, that I have much to learn about adaptability. Since having children, I have become more dependent on my needs to control situations and to have every need met mainly for them, but admittedly for myself too. Having children throws your life so out of whack, in general, and often on a daily basis that predictability can give a mother comfort, or at least it does for me. And that truth is not one in which I take pride.
Our first days have been a bit rocky, literally and figuratively. We arrived at our tent, that contains beds and a bathroom, and began exploring. There are rocks big and small, everywhere that my children want to climb all over. Again, being a beach-grown girl, I am having mini-panic attacks over my children falling and hurting themselves knowing a hospital is about an hour away. My daughter, always having her needs met, is panicking over the bees flying near her food and getting too close to the horses available for rides.
My son is perfectly happy playing with sticks and rocks. But he was chilled all morning from sleeping with only jammies and a couple blankets over him throughout the night that got so chilly but we had not figured out the heaters. I found myself worrying about hypothermia and sickness before my first cup of coffee.
As you read this, I hear everyone’s thoughts as well as the ones forming in my own head, “chill the f out woman!” And that is the lesson I am trying to take away from the past couple of days. With a bit of better rest for all of us, I believe that I will be on that path very soon. It has been a full, new, tiring trip. Both kids are napping while I feel a restful-ness come over me as I write. For me, motherhood has changed me mostly for the better but in some ways for the worse. My anxiety about them being sick, uncomfortable, unsafe, or in some way not “status quo” threatens to take away some of the joy available to me.
Sometimes I realize how consumed I am by my own world that I fail to notice the one around me, treating it as if it is separate. My goal for this trip is to learn to better flexibility and adaptability, notice beauty, and feel peace. This is vacation after all.

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5 thoughts on “Lessons in God’s Country

  1. Oh I read myself in this post.
    My L will be two in October, and we will be getting married in Jamaica in April 2015.
    I find myself not being stressed about the wedding or planning at all, but freaking out about how it will be to travel with L. I’ve travelled around myself to plenty of countries on my own, but to have a toddler in tow is a completely foreign experience. I’m already worrying about the quality of hospital care should she need it, food quality, jellyfish stings, etc. I’m clearly being overly paranoid, but it is already crossing my mind lol.

  2. I love, love, love your honesty! I also love that you don’t bash yourself or your kids’ behavior by being honest. 😉 Anyway, I can totally relate to this: “Having children throws your life so out of whack, in general, and often on a daily basis that predictability can give a mother comfort, or at least it does for me.” I never cared a dime about routine or stability until I had kids but wow, when my older two were little, I needed CONTROL because then I could at least function! haha I don’t feel that way anymore because things aren’t crazy, BUT I do structure our homeschooling day otherwise most things wouldn’t get done! 😛
    Sorry about the chilly night and rocks and all. Enjoy the wide open space for me!

    • Thanks so much 😘 I’ve always been a routined person but took it to a whole new level since having kids! Writing is my therapy and I felt instantly better, more relaxed and slowed down after writing and kids napping. Next trip post will, hopefully, be entirely different!

  3. Pingback: There’s no place like home… | Winding Road

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