This is going to be SO FUN, y'all.

I keep saying this to the children, over and over.  I know it's true, and also that being on the road will be a lot like being home, with it's usual ups and downs and all the same kid behaviors, but more smooshed up.  Some of us in our big family are less outdoors-y than the others. I know I am not a hiker, but I am imagining quiet, peaceful hikes through gorgeous, not-scary, not-steep, not-buggy scenery.  In my imaginings, I am not holding five cast off jackets, three water bottles that are making red marks on my hand, and a fussy red-headed baby.  In my imaginings, I am not potty training any people.  I am certainly not potty training anyone on an epic road trip.  I imagine us gathered happily in the evenings around a campfire, singing, the children catching fireflies.  It's going to be pretty much exactly like this: 

Only less multi-cultural.

I know better.  It's rather likely that the children will have their faces in their Kindles all day, fight over flashlights, insist on unending hours playing Sorry! (worst. game. ever. Who likes this game? No one like this game.), and that at the end of it all, I will look like this:

It's cool though.  I can look like Maggie.  

It's cool though.  I can look like Maggie.  

But we have to do this.  The children are growing wildly fast, and soon they'll be too big to fit in the tiny trailer at all.  And I want so badly to hold on to these kids, to draw in close (very close) and make memories that we can embellish for years to come, making it all sound more fun than maybe it really was, turning it over time into the perfect, most dreamy summer.