Last week our family took a quick trip to Texas. Down and back in six days flat. For the wedding of some dear friends and former students.
When it comes to road trips, though, the Worralls are slow to actually get on the road. First of all, we pack at the last minute, and I want to bring everything I can think of that we just might need. So, although we were only gone for five nights, I stuffed the back of our Land Rover with a ridiculous number of suitcases and bags and miscellaneous objects.
Then, once the car is loaded, we potter around town. Last Tuesday we stopped for a haircut, an oil change, gas, new sunglasses, two potty breaks, lunch, coffee, a diaper change, and the always essential inflatable turtle. So here we are…
We left home three hours ago, but we only have about 50 miles under our belt. But see how okay I am with that? Because proper preparation is imperative.
Once we got on the road, the trip went swimmingly. (Amelia’s two extended Pterodactyl impressions, one near collision, and a hotel horror story aside.) The kids watched movies, sang songs, snacked, decorated the backseat with all manner of things, and finally slept. The LOML and I read to each other. And talked. Really talked.
We got to Texas late on Wednesday and stayed just outside of Dallas with some very gracious friends. For the next two days, when we weren’t at the wedding events, we swam in their pool with Teddy the Turtle. Enjoyed the sun. And reconnected with our hosts.
The wedding itself was lovely. A casual country affair at Cross Creek Ranch. The bride was beautiful. The groom, beaming. Peter performed the ceremony and did a fine job.
But this wedding was particularly meaningful to me because I know all of the hard work this young couple has done. Throughout the past year, they have faithfully come to our home every few weeks. Sometimes they arrived, giddy and gushing. Other times they arrived with boxing gloves on. But they came. Ready to talk it out. Ready to be honest. Ready to listen. Ready to apologize and forgive. Ready to grow and change and learn how to love. I’m so proud of them. And it gives me so much confidence in their marriage. The fact that they have properly prepared.
On the two-day road trip home, Daryl and Amelia were all worn out. Thankfully, this time that meant they were more mellow. More content to just sit and watch a movie. And Peter and I were able to talk even more. The most extended and intimate conversations we’ve had in a long time.
We revisited some hard topics. For each of us. Some old and very deep hurts. But, lo and behold, this time we didn’t don our gloves. And neither of us resorted to an extended Pterodactyl impression. Instead, we acted as allies. Fighting for the same cause. Our marriage and family. We were honest and we listened. We apologized and forgave. And truthfully, I was proud of us too. How—almost fifteen years in—we’ve continued to grow. And change. And learn even more of what it means to love.
Because as important as the proper preparation is, the real work begins on that day we say, “I do.”
Daryl’s favorite thing about the wedding.