Cotton and Kids

My sister has a lovely bowl, atop one of the lovely pieces her husband built, and in this bowl is a few lovely pieces of cotton. The cotton is still attached to the vine (or stalk??  someone who is a cotton expert fill me in) and it’s just really cool looking. I asked her one day why she had cotton in a bowl and she told me a friend of her’s (who has no children) was going to visit Alabama and asked if there was anything she could bring back. So of course my sister answered, “Cotton”.

I tell you this story because my family and I recently passed some lovely cotton fields on our way to a family beach vacation. You see a family vacation can be some what of a crapshoot…You know what I mean, right? Will it be the blissful experience you paid for with not only money but also PTO time? Will it turn into one of those great National Lampoon movies? Will you make wonderful memories and really connect with your kids? Or will you return home wondering why you would ever choose to use what little time you have off from work and your hard-earned money vacationing with your children? If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you must be a wonderful parent with lovely children and you must consume a daily diet of Xanax and Valium.

Anyway, I digress — where were we? Yes we we’re driving by that lovely field of cotton, and the kids have started getting cranky/giddy/angry/hungry/tired/full of angst…you name it. Our 7 hour drive has become 12 due to traffic and many separate stops to go to the bathroom. (I don’t think they’re really trying when I ask them too.) The iPod batteries are dead and the wireless headphones for the DVD player are not working. We are now faced with the dilemma of whether we all must hear Barbie’s 12 Dancing Princesses or hip hop for the teenager. This is a must because wrestling in a minivan is neither comfortable nor safe and their voices have started to rise. (Before we sound too spoiled and technologically advanced, please  note 15 Alphabet games have been played, various naps taken and the youngest child has colored many, many pictures.)

While all hell breaks loose in the van, I look over at the lovely fields of cotton and I think to myself, “Only a person with no children would have the temper, time and patience to stop the car and get out to pick up a handful of cotton to satisfy a sarcastic request from a friend. Or a parent hopped up on Xanax and Valium”.

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5 responses to “Cotton and Kids

  1. Ah yes, traveling w/kids. “he/she is TOUCHING me” he/she is breathing TOO loud” and my favorite…WHAT ?? We just stopped two minutes ago “but I didn’t have to go THEN”…

  2. All these trips and experiences are filling your memory banks for a time when you no longer have your children around and your grandchildren live far away…..in other words, you will wish you were IN a National Lampoon Vacation instead of watching one!
    Next time…..stop and pick the cotton….the kids will….. “remember the time we stopped to pick cotton in Alabama”…..Love every minute!
    (You are such a wonderful writer! You should persue that!!!)

  3. That’s what I meant about being a good writer. You take everyday life and make it more interesting! (And very therapeutic too!) We all need to laugh at ourselves….it keeps us human! Love you!

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