“I’m so sorry,” I said, “It was sweet potatoes. I accidentally dropped my son’s food.” I continued apologizing as I handed out wet wipes to everyone around us.
Packing our bags a couple days earlier, I told myself, “Don’t think of it as a vacation. This is an adventure.” I was nervous but excited. I had visions of us beside the Eiffel Tower and eating macaroons, but I also had fears about the long plane ride and potentially sleepless nights. Traveling is challenging, but traveling with a kid who has special needs is even more so. When we travel our routine goes out the window–and it’s our routine that enables us to give David’s his meds throughout the day, keep him on a good schedule and plan for downtime. But France was calling! How could we say no? As I saw the sweet potatoes fly through the air in slow motion, I was pretty sure we should have stayed home.
I took a deep breath and reminded myself (in my most soothing inner voice) “This is an adventure. It’s okay if it’s imperfect. Adventure means things will get messy. It’s practically a requirement, right?” We arrived in Paris jet lagged and grumpy and I wondered if all this struggle was worth it.
But standing beside the Eiffel Tower I knew we had made the right decision. This adventure held magic.
When we ordered chocolate croissants at breakfast I let contentment wash over me. I soaked up a quiet minute during our crazy adventure.
We snapped a picture walking above the Seine River as misty raindrops landed on our happy faces. Adventure called and we listened.
Standing in front of Van Gogh’s self portrait I felt my heart soar with gratitude. Adventure had led us here.
Watching David and Matthias explore the cobblestone streets of France reminded me how adventure changes how we see ourselves and the world.
Of course we need routine; it’s how things get done. We need a schedule and a clock. We need school and work because it’s how we expand our minds. It’s how we accomplish tasks.
But we also need to break from routine. We need to throw the schedule out the window. We need to build a fort in the living room and not clean it up. We need to order pizza on a school night and leave dirty dishes in the sink. We plan a spur of the moment getaway. When we break from the routine we set off on an adventure.
Routine keeps us stable, adventure makes us flexible.
Routine makes us strong, adventure makes us brave.
Routine gives us discipline, adventure gives us boldness.
Routine depends on logic, adventure depends on imagination.
Routine makes the most of everyday. Adventure makes the most of life.
Routine helps us get up when the alarm goes off and lace up our running shoes. Routine enables us to keep the fridge full of groceries and the car full of gas. Routine provides a perfect environment for homework and home cooked meals.
Adventure on the other hand lets us make a new friend or try a new hobby. Adventure encourages us to climb a little higher and sing a little louder. Adventure gives us the freedom to fall in love, have another baby, start a new business and travel abroad. Nothing big and important happens without adventure.
And at the end of the day adventure reassures us, saying, “Don’t worry if you fail. It was just an adventure after all.”
It took us a few weeks to recover after our adventure in France. I was ready to get back into our regular routine and catch up on missed sleep. Routine is a good thing, but I know it won’t be long before adventure calls again. And I know we’ll take the risk, with the assurance we can always fall back into the comfort of routine.
Have you stepped outside of your routine lately?
Wow! You were able to go to FRANCE! I wish the people who were hit by sweet potatoes would have responded in a more kind manner. Don’t worry; you did the right thing. All of your family had a break and an experience to always remember.
My daughter would not have tolerated a plane ride, but simple rides in the wheelchair to a place that wouldn’t put her on sensory overload and cause her to scream for the duration were wonderful.
Yep, routine is good and necessary….a switch from it is also necessary. Keep up the good work! <3
I loved reading this! You have a beautiful way of expressing yourself. Thanks for taking ME on a little adventure!
I figure this post wasn’t intentioned as marriage but as I read it, it became so perfectly clear to me that my husband is the routine and I’m the adventure. Our lives would be boring and flailing without each other. Perspective shifts are life changing. Thank you and bless you!
You are a real trooper and I admire you greatly! I also have the cuff bracelet. It is one of my go to pieces! It has six names on it.
I can relate!! The sweet potato story just made me laugh as I’ve been there! Too bad those that wore it didn’t just take a taste and say, “hey not bad”. You survived it, and not only that you survived it together and taught your son a valuable lesson of compassion and humanity. You’re an inspiration to many!
I hope I am hit with sweet potatoes if it means someone is on an adventure rather than staying in a routine to avoid the stress! Keep it up!
I love this post! I’m so happy you guys had a great time, and I just have to say…that photo of your family in front of the Eiffel Tower is simply amazing! Is it a professional shot?
Aahhhh this post just touched a part of my soul…it smiled and cried at the same time! I admire you and your family! You have encouraged me to be adventurous, daring and not to always be comfortable/complacent. Thank you for that!
-BTW your family is adorable!
I am a proud aunt of a CDLS bundle of love. She taught us what perfect love looked like…but would have laughed really hard when the sweet potatoes flew. It would almost seem worth doing it again just to watch her pure joy. Sometimes the imperfect times turn into something perfect! Thank you for sharing you adventure and your love.
you are an inspiration
I’m mostly a silent “watcher” of your blog, work, family. I just need to say, that over the many years seeing your beautiful family grow…I think you are an amazing mom, wife, and business woman! There are few that handle the challenges you face with such grace and warmth. Kudos my friend!!
Beautiful words, and I hope you’re laughing about the sweet potato incident now! I can identify with the routine and adventure interplay…my husband works in another country, so for the months he’s away at a time, it’s very much routine here, and then end of school term, when he’s home, its adventure! which recently took us on a trip into Africa, driving mountain paths in cabs to the beautiful Lake Malawi…also wondering along the way if it was a good idea… and then experiencing the magic, and seeing the kids experience it, and feeling how travel changes you. Adventure is so worth it, and high five to you guys who are so brave!
Oh Lisa! I’m so sorry about the sweet potatoes! What a crazy thing to have happen. I’m so glad you went to France. It was an amazing adventure for all of you. Such a rich experience for your family. I love that you allow yourself to set out of routine and have adventure.