It's tough to be the middle kid. Especially when you're in the middle of a teenager and a toddler. Being a mellow, independent eight-year-old can unintentionally garner you less attention than your brothers who are more, um....tumultuous.
I had originally planned to drive down to the Chicago area by myself for my reunion because the thought of making Josh wrangle all three kids by himself in a place that's not our turf while I went and did my thing seemed like a nightmare. However, when Ellis asked if we were going down to Chicago this summer, we came up with the idea of just the two of us taking a road trip together. Ellis is the perfect age to enjoy playing with his cousins in their swimming pool, it is very seldom that he and I get to do things as just the two of us, and he's in that "sweet spot" of childhood where he's inquisitive without being demanding. I call road trip!
I've driven the route between the Twin Cities and Chicago what seems like a million times. The best part of driving there with Ellis was talking to him about the different aspects of the trip. It was like sharing a family tradition. I showed him how to read the mile markers to figure out how long we have left on the trip. He was fascinated with rest stops and decided he wanted to start a rest stop business when he got older. We talked about toll roads, which are mostly a novelty here in Minnesota, but are the status quo in Illinois. We dreamed about the future when he gets his driver's license and could take a shift behind the wheel.
All in all, the road trip served it's purpose. Doing something cool together made us fall in love with each other all over again.