The truth is, I'm a highly anxious, easily stressed lady. Granted, if you see me out in public, you'd probably never notice this. Throw me into chaos at work, and I can quickly come up with solutions. If you aren't looking closely, you might label me as patient, diplomatic, clam. Hence the chameleon.
Fling a whopper at me when I'm just around my closest family, most trusted friends, and you get a whole different monster. Literally.
For the past few days, we've been busily preparing for our big yearly road trip across America. This involves a ridiculous amount of strategy, given the fact that we have to take all our camping equipment with us up to the northern most part of Michigan -- and when I say "us" I'm talking about myself, The Husband, Uno, Dos, the two Littles, and Uno's best friend Dos #2. Whew.
Since I don't like to stop at fast food places along the way, this trip also requires that I spring into Ultra Mom mode, and bake, make, mix, and organize snacks and meals and such for our journey. So besides everything else we're bringing, we now need a huge cooler and a box for all the other food items.
Then there is my nonstop fear that we're going to have some terrible malady besiege us and drain every last dollar we have.
I won't even go into all the other worries and concerns I have before we set out.
All these worries, concerns, and craziness can easily result in what I lovingly call, "Ultimate Freak Out of Doom."
Trust me. I've done it many times. Temper tantrums, tears, you name it, I've done.
It's really rather embarrassing.
Luckily, last year something changed this. For the first time ever (and dude, this is a serious accomplishment), I was able to plan, prepare for, and set off on our trip -- without a nervous breakdown!
This year, we've added three more kids and two more stops along the way. I'm beginning to wonder if I have a desire to torture myself.
But, once again, I've been able to hunt and gather the necessities, get everyone rounded up, and in about 15 minutes, we'll be out the door.
The secret ingredient to my success?
He calms my fears, eases the tension, sets me back up on my feet when I topple over in a tizzy.
Granted, just thirty minutes ago I was standing in the driveway as he was zipping around loading things into the van, barking orders and looking a bit like a timebomb. It just took a few words, and hand on his shoulder, and he visibly relaxed. Things got packed, a little less stressed.
So off we go, Iowa bound (for starters). I am so fortunate to spend the next 17 days surrounded by laughter, silliness, and definitely some good road trippin' karaoke. But definitely, no ultimate freak outs. And that's a nice thing.