Road trip!

We went away for the weekend, which is always a lot of fun—and at this stage of life, a lot of work. It always amazes me how much stuff it requires for the six of us to go away for 36 hours. Playpens, food trays, diapers, bathing suits, favourite stuffed animals, plus two days’ worth of food for Gideon, since he a) barely has teeth and b) can’t eat wheat, so there’s not much on the menu for him at most places.

And taking Maliah on the road presents a whole new set of challenges. We ran into a dilemma on Friday night: at bedtime we realized I packed the wrong cable for the battery charger for her implant processor units. We raced out to an electronics store to look for a substitute adapter, but of course the battery charger is such a unique design that nothing in the store would match it. Because you certainly wouldn’t want to make it easy to replace something like that—no, make it so incredibly rare that you can only order it from your website. In Australia.

Rant against cochlear implant manufacturers aside, we were left to do some creative juggling. In the end we stretched out the little bit of remaining battery power by putting Maliah’s units on one at a time, so she could hear for a while on each side as opposed to having both units blink out on her at once.

I felt bad for the poor girl. She’s gotten to a place where she really likes hearing; in fact, she gets mad when her batteries run out or one of her units gets knocked off. So here she was in a strange environment, and we were quite literally messing with her head all day, trying to milk the last life from her batteries so she could hear for a while.

But she took it in stride and had a very good weekend. It’s one more adjustment in this odd life of ours—trying to remember our kid’s batteries so she can hear.

And it was all worth it. We went to a gathering of friends from different churches in our region, an event that always feels like a family reunion. We got to hang out with people we hadn’t seen in a year and marvel over the increasing size and exploits of each other’s kids. I’ve been going to these gatherings since I was a teenager, so it’s fun to be in a stage of life where my own children are making friends with my friends’ kids.

Team Lucas had a great time. Gideon charmed the whole world, as is his style, and I barely saw the older two boys. They travelled up with my parents and slept in their hotel room, and they spent the rest of their time running around with other kids. I think the oldest actually missed us by the end of the weekend. When we stopped for dinner on the way home, he insisted on sitting on Shawna’s lap.

Despite the challenge of travelling, packing, juggling naps and dealing with messed-up sleep schedules, I actually came home feeling refreshed. Good company and inspiring words can go a long way.

Of course, I still needed a nap on Sunday.

After a pit stop/diaper change, the youngest decides it's his turn to drive.

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