Rise and Shine

When I woke up this morning, I made a deal with myself. I said, “Kid,” (I had to be a little condescending at 4:30 AM) “you don’t have to shine, but you do have to rise.” And, as I struggled to read the side of my contact case so that my eyes could begin functioning, the possibility of shining waved goodbye from the back of a speeding vehicle, with all of its bags packed.
Which is, oddly enough, also what we’re doing.
I write from the passenger seat of our Volvo as we drive through our halfway point – Rocky Mount, North Carolina. I’ve just woken from an hour-long nap to the sight of trees, open fields and small homes dotting the side of the highway. And it’s a good morning. Why, you might ask? Because we are 620 miles, 2 ham sandwiches, approximately 3 bathroom stops, and a full season of Modern Family away from Disney World.

This year we forewent Christmas gifts for each other and planned a second trip to Disney World to use the season passes purchased on our honeymoon. With a generous gift from my Grammy and Grandaddy, the trip became more feasible.
This brings me to my second question: is it wrong to brag about having amazing grandparents? Is it wrong to say that, if there were a store full of grandparents from whom you could choose, my two sets would be standing in the window, front and center? Is it wrong to admit that your grandparents are cooler than you? Three questions, I know. And if it’s wrong, then I don’t want to be right.
My mother’s parents are the ones who introduced me to TiVo, Modern Family and New York City. They love their grandchildren more than is probably healthy for my self-esteem. They’re encouraging, generous, incredibly cool people who have always been fully invested in relationships with their family members.

We drove this morning from the home of my father’s parents, without whom we wouldn’t have been able to make this trip, either. These are the people who always remember my best friend’s name, who took us to a restaurant where I had the greatest salmon of my life, and for whom hospitality seems a natural gift – with smoothies prepared in the morning, homemade brownies served with a smile and towels stacked beside our bed in the “honeymoon suite”. They are loving, trustworthy people who are genuinely interested in their grandchildren’s lives.

We are feeling the blessings of family as we make this trip, and we can be nothing but unendingly thankful for how much we are loved.