A couple weeks ago I loaded Thomas and my two bonus kids into the car, and we drove for seven hours to the beautiful state of Mississippi. It was late, we were all tired, but it was an adventure. I learned a few things along the way. Now when I go somewhere and it’s over night or longer I always always make a list for what to pack and a list of things I need in the car. I’ve done this since I was younger when I went on Girl Scout trips. This time around I made about four or five lists, the kids’ bag, our bag, the car bag, the electronics bag and random things we might need. I was ready for a full blown emergency to say the least. We left after work on a Thursday about 9 pm. This was the first time I got to drive to Mississippi, I was excited not only for that but because this was the first time I got to bring Thomas and the kids. I went crazy with the car snacks because in my mind the kids were going to want a “nack” every five miles. They didn’t. I thought for sure they would want to play on their tablets, so I had those charged and ready along with portable chargers just in case…they played with them once…on the way back home. I had blankets and pillows and a few toys and books for the road. Pillows didn’t get used, books didn’t get read until the next day in the hotel. Toys got tossed under the seat after the first hour. This might sound like they were holy terrors in the back seat, but they were golden! They didn’t fuss that it was taking too long, they didn’t beg to stop every 15 minutes, they sat back and relaxed and slept almost the entire time. When we stopped to grab some food at White Castle because it’s my favorite and I rarely get to have it. They woke up and were good to go, ate and didn’t put up a fight when we told them we were still like three states away from where we were going. When we were able to see the arch in St. Louis we pointed it out and on top of the oohs and ahhs we heard my bonus son, in a very serious tone say “now that’s what I’m talking about!” I died! Probably one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard. I didn’t even hear a complaint when we were stopped in traffic for an hour because of a seven car pile up in Tennessee. Ok so fun stories aside. I learned that I was way over prepared. They didn’t need the 20 pounds of snacks I had piled up in the floorboard of the passenger seat (sorry babe). I didn’t need to bring all the pillows and blankets and toys because they were having fun just by looking at all the lights of cities we passed and telling stories and seeing new things and the good old car naps. I didn’t need my five lists to keep them entertained because me and Thomas were entertaining them without me even realizing it. They were having a good time just being on the trip it’s self, and I couldn’t have been any happier about it. Then the fears of us driving in the night and then sleeping a lot and not being able to sleep once we got settled into the hotel came creeping up on me, it took maybe 45 minutes for us to get all settled and in bed and they went almost right to sleep, like I said they were golden. Even on the road back home that Sunday being in the day they napped less and got to see so many things. They asked questions about different things they saw, told us what they liked most about the zoo we went to and told us how much they wanted to go back. Which really warmed my heart because they loved my family so much that they would willingly endure another six to seven hour car ride to go back. Which we will, next family reunion. I will most likely still have my extensive lists on what we need to pack but I’ll also take into account all the things they don’t need and will most likely bring them anyways because you never know. I guess my lesson learned is my bonus kids don’t need to be doing something or have something in their hands all the time to have a good time. This trip reaffirmed what I already knew, they hold the pieces of my heart.