We drove home from Nova Scotia this evening.
"Look at the sunset guys".
I think the most enriching sentence I had said to the kids this trip.
It was duely noted. The sky was pink, peach, warm yellow, meeting the black silhouette of the forest at dusk below it, looking like it had been cut out of black paper and placed on the sky, the road aiming into the sun, white lines glowing.
My earlier wild-eyed, "Seth, if you don't stop throwing things SOMEBODY is going to get hurt" moment, paired with a threatening point in his direction with Claire's shoe, the missile he had just launched at Max for no apparent reason at all and I was seriously, however briefly, considering beaning back at his head, definitely hadn't earned any amazing mother of the day awards. At which Troy chuckled, not helping, proceeding to describe that I sounded like a stand-up act I hadn't seen, pointing out that the somebody who was going to get hurt was very vague and didn't sound like I was necessarily referring to the people Seth was throwing things at.
In the back were two runny noses; Claire a dirty faced ragamuffin straggly haired but cheerful mess singing loudly and persistently, Max whining in between losing his food in his seat and mashing it into his eyebrows, both of them succumbing to the beginnings of a cold. Seth was the crankiest boy alive. I almost hope he's getting sick to at least give an excuse for his crap behaviour. Thane was holding in there as long as his DS batteries held out. The van was loud, even just the road noise seemed louder than usual. The van was crowded, every space packed with a body or bag, food, pillows, garbage. It had been a large weekend. A beautiful enjoyable long Thanksgiving weekend. But a weekend we were on the losing end of.
The trip home.
Some trips go better than others. Max did not enjoy this trip. Taking a big kid on a long drive? Sure. A baby? No problem. A toddler, no thanks.
When the older boys were babies we used to favor the night trip approach. Tucking pyjamaed boys into the car we would head off, them soon for sleep and Mommy and Daddy to whisper the trip away in the dark, coffees in hand. But then they got bigger and entertaining themselves became easier by light. Now, we just have all of the different ages to consider and pluses and minuses to any schedule.
Thane's video game batteries died.
"Agh," he lamented, "if I have to listen to Dora for three more hours I'll go insane!"
Then he proceeded to complain that he was starving in between 'righting' his brothers wayward behaviour with more violence. The alpha-male conflict will be the end of me.
But finally, thankfully, we made it to the night part of the trip.
We always make it don't we.
The point when the sunset marks the beginning of quiet. One by one the voices, the gnashing of teeth, the bored little trapped and antsy bodies drop off to sleep. Mommy begins instead to hear soft breathes in and out. What was the roar becomes the quiet of the road taking us home.