What do 3 ladies, 7 kids, and a Dodge Durango have in common? The answer is a long, unforgettable day in Boston, Massachusetts. Jonathan, my husband, is currently at a meeting in Missouri for the Jonathan Project. Not necessarily wanting to stay alone in the 5th wheel and haggle with sewer dumps and grey water drainage, I worked out a situation to where me and the boys would stay with another Jonathan project wife and her 2 kids. The plan was wonderful. The kids would play together and we wouldn’t be as stressed in our homes alone with our kids. When we woke up yesterday we decided that a trip to Boston, Massachusetts would be a lot of fun. I’ve never been to Boston and it would be a great time to see the Freedom Trail and celebrate our nations heritage. Being a little leery of going to Boston alone with 2 women and 5 kids, we invited along another friend that has 2 kids of her own. We decided that since parking is so expensive and difficult in Boston we would all ride in one friends Dodge Durango. We squeezed 10 people into the Durango and set off on a 2 and 1/2 hour drive to Boston. Our husbands didn’t feel comfortable with this idea, but they were glad we had something to do. Lesson learned, listen to your husband.
When we arrived in Boston, my friends Transmission Temperature light came on and the car began to overheat. We went ahead and pulled into a parking garage and decided that we weren’t going to let that bother our day. It would cool off while we were touring. We were freaking out to some degree though because none of us have a clue about cars. This was just a very small glimpse into the chaos that was about to become our day. We set off amidst the cries and tantrums of two 3 year olds, one 7 month old, one 4 year old, one 5 year old, one 6 year old, and one 10 year old. While continually getting turned around and lost, Reese was having horrendous behavior and kept wanting to run away from me. The kids kept picking at each other, tattling on each other, and taking turns crying. If only this trip involved normal parenting stresses?
After walking around some we decided that it was time to eat. We went to the famed Quincy Market and ordered food at the hall of food there. All of the ladies, the kids, and the food piled around a park bench to eat. While we were eating, the kids were being relatively quiet. Even though this involved the two 3 year old boys jumping of a low ledge, we were basking in the dinner time in the city glow. That is when disaster struck. Payton, my friends 3 year old son fell off the ledge face first onto the cobblestone and busted his head wide open. Blood was squirting everywhere. My friend, in a white shirt, grabbed her son and someone called 911. We were applying pressure to the wound and trying to comfort all the kids who starting wailing thinking that Payton was going to die. The EMT’s came and said he needed to go to the ER and get stitches. Diana rode in the ambulance in the ER and Sonia and I took all the rest of the kids to walk the 10 blocks to the hospital to meet her. First we stopped at Borders to try to entertain them with story hour so they wouldn’t be panicked in the hospital and then we bought them some candy. Diana got to the hospital at 7 PM and basically between the car problems and the medical disaster, our day was shot.
Little did we know that our night was just about to begin. Sonia and I literally walked miles pushing the heavy stroller and taking turns holding all the younger children that needed comforted. We had to walk to the ER to get the car keys, walk all the way back to the parking garage another 10 blocks away, and then walk all over looking for the car. No sooner had we gotten in the car at 10 PM, Reese threw up all over everything. It was all over the car, his clothes, his car seat, and my diaper bag. We had to get him out of the car, strip him, take apart his car seat, and clean all off him and the car with almost no napkins and wipes. Reese had to go naked, except for a pull up, and sit on the hard plastic part of the car seat because the other part was disgusting. We drove to the hospital and had to wait till 2 AM for them to be done with Payton.
To make a long story short, it was 5:30 AM before we got home. No hotels in walking distance of the hospital had availability and so we had to entertain all the kids and walk them around in the middle of the night in Boston. I got Reese hospital scrubs to wear so he wouldn’t be naked and I got many glances from employees that thought I was kidnapping a patient from the pediatric wing.
When we arrived back home Reese threw up again all over Diana’s couch, carpet, and himself. He was in the bath and we were cleaning couches and carpet at 6 am, before we had even gone to bed for the night. Needless to say, the day was memorable. I’m reminded of the following scripture. It reminds me that when I author my own life, things are chaotic.
I Corinthians 14:33 (KJV) For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace…….