Posted by Brandi in Happy Summer: Rhode Island, What We Ate on August 12, 2014
That’s right, 9200 miles is what the tripometer reads! Just a few days shy of the three-month “anniversary” of our little adventure, I’d say we’re making quite a dent in the map. (20 states so far!)
We’ve learned a lot, seen a lot, experienced a lot on the road, all of which I try to summarize as we go. I haven’t kept up with this blog the way I wanted to, and I have 100 posts tucked away in my brain. One thing I know we’ve missed in covering is what real life looks like.
In a lot of ways, it looks like it did at home. We wake up in the morning and have breakfast, we do a day’s worth of work, we do laundry, we argue over stupid things, and laugh over stupid things. It’s very “real.” One thing we gave up, and hadn’t quite noticed, is dinner.
Trust me (trust my tight jeans), we don’t miss a dinner. What we gave up is dinner at home. And thanks to my spirited four-year-old, I was made keenly aware of that recently.
At some point on the #HappySummr route she said, “Hey mom, do you remember when you used to make food in the kitchen? And we’d sit at the table together and eat dinner?”
Yes was my reply.
“We should do that again.”
It was her tiny way of showing her home sickness, her tiny of way of telling us that continuing past September may be too disruptive, her tiny way of suggesting she needed something normal. And like any good mother, I’m proud as hell that it was my cooking, my kitchen that she longed for.
just us on a lunch date on our last day in Savannah — at a restaurant, of course
Since Shelton and I started living together I made a point of making dinner at the table a priority. I didn’t have that growing up, and neither did he. I love that time together. Sometimes it’s ten minutes, sometimes it goes on for hours. I know every single day that the three of us get a good meal and some quality, focused time together. You can’t beat that…and apparently Paisley agrees!
Part of renting houses on this trip was so that we could grocery shop as usual, make dinner at home, and continue this important part of our daily life. However, it vanished quickly upon our arrival in Denver. Eating is part of the experience when you’re traveling. In some places, like our stop in Philadelphia, you only get 48 hours and then you’re gone. I can’t waste that on an old familiar homemade taco recipe. I want to get out and try the local fare!
So slowly but surely, eating at home has become the novelty and eating out a terribly expensive norm.
Paisley’s request to just eat at home really hit me hard. I can’t remember where we were when she said it, but I promised her we’d be in Rhode Island soon, settle in, and I’d cook.
Today we were at the grocery store and I collected things to make my guacamole and black bean goat cheese enchiladas — two of Paisley’s favorites! She said, “It’s OK mom. You can make me something at home and then you and daddy can go out to eat.”
I assured her I wanted to make this meal, that I’d promised her that I would, and that I was looking forward to enjoying it around the table tonight. It wasn’t the usual tooth fairy smoke and mirrors to get out of something, I meant it. I should mean it more often.
See, dinner has become stressful. It’s pricey to eat out two or three times a day; but again, there’s a lot in those meals that I don’t want to miss out on! Every meal is a fight because she orders one of the same three things and barely touches it, making the meal more argument prone. So we’ve started making her something at home and then ordering for ourselves at the restaurant. She doesn’t care about that “experience” at all! She’s more agreeable now, because she’s not starving waiting for food and not fighting over how many bites of a grilled cheese to eat.
But tonight was nice. We’d had a fun, easy day so dinner didn’t feel like a chore. I made something simple and healthy that we all desperately needed. Paisley took seconds and cleaned her plate. And I was able to show her that amidst all this disruption and commotion, she’s still my top priority.