If you’ve seen those movies, you know Clark Griswold is notorious for setting these ridiculously high expectations of family events and then failing miserably at meeting them. For instance, the Christmas lights scene: he and his son, Rusty, set up a million or so lights all over the roof… and they don’t work. It’s those kind of expectations that I seem to model in what I like to call my “Brilliant Mom Ideas.” These are ideas that seem great at first and that I later regret.
As I mentioned a while back, my minivan is on its last leg. So, I’ve been doing a lot of Craigslisting in search of a new vehicle. I found one this weekend. It completely matched what I was looking for, but… (yes, there’s always a but) the owner and the vehicle were 251 miles north of me. Like a good Alaska girl, I didn’t let a simple thing like distance stop me. I decided to make the most of it. Enter my latest Brilliant Mom Idea.
Deciding to make a 251 mile – wait, make that 502 mile (round trip) – trek with your three kids requires a lot of thought/energy/planning/
stupidity/prayer. But, why stop at 502 miles? Because, just another 126 miles and you’d be in North Pole, Alaska. And you know what’s in North Pole? SANTA! So, we decided to keep going and make our 502 mile trek into a 754 mile trip.
We waited until we’d packed up the kids in the car to tell them where we were headed. We hit “record” on the camera and broke the big news. I expected “You Tube” quality reactions – maybe screaming, jumping up and down or even tears. Nope. Nada. They were like, “Oh, that’s cool.” This should have been my first red flag.
After driving the first 251 miles, test driving the truck and continuing on north, we spent the night in Fairbanks and woke the next morning, primed to see Santa. We psyched the kids up to see him, asking them repeatedly what they were going to ask him for. We drove to North Pole, pulling up outside Santa Claus’s House. The kids took a moment to say hi to his reindeer, before running-full-speed inside. We ran through the very crisp and cold air and opened the doors to his workshop. The children tore through the store in search of Santa and his big chair. I turned the corner and stared – at an empty chair. “Oh, where’s Santa?” I said aloud, and then read the sign:
Did I fail to mention this was MONDAY?
At least the kids did not come apart at the seams. I, however, felt like Clark Griswold when they drove cross-country, only to discover that Wally World was closed for maintenance. Yeah…
Two days in the car with three kids… and no Santa. Well, at least it’s a family memory we won’t soon forget.
Tell me – please – have you created any Brilliant Mom Ideas this Christmas?