This weekend while we were headed out of town the Hubs and I switched roles. Usually he drives and I keep him awake by asking him stupid questions and reading fun facts off the internet. Our last trip involved a 45 minute long discussion/research session on the topic of Sloths. This time I agreed to drive for the first half because he was sore from working all day. Since I’d only driven the route once I fully assumed that he’d let me know when it was time to make the one big turn in our trip. He didn’t. We chatted and laughed while the girls slept. I overshot the turn by an hour. What was supposed to take us two and a half hours took us four hours. At first I was mad. I fussed and cussed. I was tired and grouchy and mad at him for not navigating. In that moment if I could have snapped my fingers and gone back and not missed the turn I would have. What about now though? I’d 100% do it all again. (Even the stop we made at that weird gas station.)
It’s hard to make time for each other. Hard not to feel guilty for not spending all of the time we have off focused on the kids or working on the house. Often when we do make time we spend most of it talking about work or the kids or worrying about all of the things that we have to do when we get home. Despite my initial anger of being 2 hours off course, I’m so happy that it happened. We didn’t talk about the kids. We talked about ourselves. Told our real life ghost stories. Tried to guess each others top three favorite animals. Laughed about times when we’d done stupid things. Found new things in common. Without knowing what we’d needed we drove right into it. We fell deeper in love without candles or the perfect date setting. Instead of a four course meal in a fancy restaurant, we rode in the Mom Van and snacked on sunflower seeds and skittles while we drank gator aid and coffee. It was perfect.
So many times in the course of our lives we miss exits. Something comes along and blocks our path. The bridge we needed to go over collapses. We get so caught up in what’s going on that we drive right past our turn. However it occurs, we are forced to go on a different route than the one we’d planned out. When that happens you have two options to choose from: 1) pout and cry and do everything you can to get back to your missed exit or 2) decide to enjoy your journey and keep your eyes peeled for better places to visit. I’ve always thought that Naomi Shihab Nye said it best when she said “The things we worry about are never the things that happen. And the things that happen are the things we never could have dreamed.” So celebrate your missed exits. Revel in your detours. Find beauty in the possibilities that you never imagined. Take a chance and drive past that exit. You may just fall in love with the path you find.