This weekend I surprised my mother in law and grandma in law for Mother’s Day by showing up at their house 9 hours away unannounced. Well except to my father in law. I got the idea about a month ago. Helen, my husband’s grandma, was turning 90 last week and we wanted to do something special for her, give her something or make the event memorable in some way, but we couldn’t really think of anything. Several things would’ve sufficed, but not been all that special. Mother’s Day was on the horizon at the same time and that’s when it hit me that we could be crazy and just show up.
It was crazy because I worked all day long on Friday at school and then had an evening program to do, my last one…so we didn’t get on the road til about 9pm. The trip had a bit of a dual purpose as my oldest daughter is trying to get in her remaining drive hours to get her license in a couple of weeks. So…we started at 9pm knowing that it would take at least 9 hours.
I’m not a night person. I used to do this kind of thing with Mark but that was when we had two drivers who could alternate and sleep when they weren’t driving. It was a bit trickier having Lauren drive and knowing that I couldn’t sleep the entire 9 hours. She drove about half way…til the point where she scared herself a couple of times and then I took over. To say I was tired is a bit of an understatement. I had no idea how utterly exhausting it would be to just hold my eye lids open. Felt like bricks every time I blinked. But…we made it. As long as I kept moving or doing something that helped.
Saturday when we arrived they were definitely surprised! Made the drive worth the effort. I took a short nap and was good to go, or at least almost. The next two days were filled with family and food and fun.
Today I had to drive home and wanted to get home in time for my private music lessons. I hate to cancel. So we left bright and early. I figured that I would be ok since I’m a morning person. I knew it was going to be rough when within the first hour I was having the old eye lid problem again. Lauren drove for 5 of the hours…then I took over for the last 4. I don’t think I’ve ever had such an exhausting drive experience. Losing a night of sleep is not something you just bounce back from I guess.
Regardless…I’m still glad we went. It was a spontaneous idea. It was an idea that involved being present rather than just buying stuff. It was a good one. Thankfully, once I’m off the ride I won’t have to pull any all night drives!
How have you shown up spontaneously for others lately? Your presence is the best thing you have to give. Who might you show up for in the next month? I would do it again…even with the exhaustion…we made it 🙂
Thankfully my inlaws live close to my parents so we got to see both sides of the family for Mother’s day. Those hours were good.