Regurgitated gift

I am not proud of my performance this weekend. I definitely did not bring my A game.

I decided to take the kids on a road trip. My 7-year-old is obsessed with superheroes. He is the neglected middle child. I don’t lock him in a closet and feed him scraps. I just can’t do the things with him that I did when my older son was his age. I have two other children to take care of. Plus, I am now called “ma’am.” So, when I heard Marvel Universe Live was in Philadelphia I got tickets. It will give him one happy memory to share with his future therapist.

Philly is a 5 1/2 hour drive from our house. That wouldn’t be so bad, right? I invited my mother along.

I loaded the van with snacks, drinks and a few blankets. The kids picked out movies to watch on the road. Everyone was excited. We left the house at 7:00 a.m., stopping to grab some breakfast to eat in the car. I was running on adrenaline, patting myself on the back. I am the greatest Mom ever for doing this. So, when my daughter asked for an egg sandwich and milk I didn’t bat an eyelash. “Sure!” Sure? What’s better for your stomach before a 5 1/2 hour car ride than eggs and milk? If this were an episode of “Saved by the Bell” everyone would freeze except Zack Morris. He would talk directly to the camera about my bad decision.

We got about an hour into the trip when my daughter started whining. “Do you think you’re going to throw up?” Nope. “Did she need to poop?” Nope. I made another rookie mistake, assuming she was just tired and needed a nap. Minutes later, without warning, she began to vomit. NFL running backs have nothing on grandma. My mom busted out some slick moves to catch most of her breakfast in a blanket. We still needed to find a store and get supplies to clean my daughter and the van. Unfortunately, people in northern Pennsylvania apparently live off the land. We couldn’t find a store for miles. There were a few shady gas stations near the exit ramps. My car may have smelled like death, but we wanted to live. Thirty minutes later we finally got cleaning supplies and a few strange looks in a grocery store parking lot. I must have looked like a criminal, frantically trying to get rid of evidence. I am surprised nobody called police.

Was the show worth a 5 1/2 hour drive in a minivan with vomiting and sporadic bickering? Yes. My son had the biggest smile on his face from beginning to end. It didn’t matter to him that the actors were following an audio recording or that Ms. Marvel appeared to be a few months pregnant.


My daughter, who was apparently suffering from amnesia, declared it the greatest trip ever. Plus, I got to spend quality time with my own mother. It’s something, as we age, that shouldn’t be taken for granted. Each moment is a gift. Sometimes that gift includes a regurgitated egg sandwich, but it’s a gift none the less.


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