Okay, it’s harder than I thought. Like marriage, I knew it was going to be difficult and carried no illusions. Now this road trip, I know has its challenges but until you’re actually in it, you don’t know until you experience it hour by hour — the kids fighting, tempers rising, late meals, laundry that doesn’t dry properly and we’re only on our fourth day. We’re doing pretty well if you look at the pictures but they don’t tell the whole story. It’s not a fairy tale, walk in the park, happily ever after, dream come true. It’s more of like any other exercise in life — fun but exhausting at times. It’s about getting over as quickly as you can, the exasperating moments because really, life is too short to worry over trifles.
I know what we plan to do may not seem “good parenting” to some people. But in our hearts, this is what we believe in and this is the right path for us. There is no wrong or right, good or bad. Everyone is doing their best always. Sometimes, what’s best for one person is wrong or worst for another. But relationships are crucial and always important. Even if you have different ideas and beliefs, it is important to support one another through each person’s unique journey.
Where did that come from?
It’s been a tiring day.
Maybe instead of spending one night at every stop, we should take a break and do two nights here in Pingliang. I’m rethinking the rest of the project and have a new, nay, brilliant idea. Instead of spending short days in many different places, why not lessen the number of targeted areas so that we’d have a healthier stretch, more leisurely pace in one place. Quantity rather than quality. My mind is again racing to fiddle with the excel file containing Plan A, B, C, D. Watch out for the new reformulations. The problem is, the more I meet people, talk to them, exchange ideas, the longer the list of destinations become. From the APDEC alone, I decided to add Japan, Israel and England so I lopped off some countries in Africa and South America. I have to keep amputating legs to give an arm to another. My Frankenstein will never be ready.
Roadschooling is also a roller coaster ride. One instant I’m patting myself at the back for getting things “right” and then after a while “it” loses effectiveness and you have to juggle your bag of tricks. Thanks to my intrepid students, I have an arsenal of downloaded audio including the Chinese stories for children recommended by my friend, Susan. It worked its charm and a peace treaty reigned at the back seat for about an hour. Thanks also to my students and friends, there’s lots of cool music perfect for cruising.
I promised myself to strictly avoid Chinese tours but it’s an unavoidable scourge in a land of monetized tourist sites. With doubt and trepidation, I entered the Yellow River ticketed gates knowing I’d regret it, but then it turned out okay, better than expected. I guess, when you’re with family or friends for that matter, you have to make it okay or else — the other option is not an option. You have to make the most of the journey.