If there’s one thing that seems to be consistently true about children, it’s that they’re almost always (but not, of course, to the point of being consistent) inconsistent in their behavior. Which is to say, I expected the absolute worst last weekend, but it turned out that bringing two rambunctious boys to a funeral was perfectly fine. Riley preened in his clip-on tie and shiny black shoes and handed out memorial flyers in an adorable fashion, while Dylan played quietly with a muted iPhone until the precise moment when the minster asked everyone to observe a moment of silence for Uncle Jack, at which point he slithered into JB’s lap and fell into an angelic, rosy-cheeked slumber.

Of the various outcomes I had imagined, boy, Being Helpful/Quietly Napping didn’t even make the top 50.

Anyway, we’re back home again and still catching up on laundry. This time we broke up the trip with a couple of hotel stays between here and Coos Bay, cutting down on the driving-related insanity but upping the overall sense that road-tripping nearly 1,000 miles with kids on a regular basis really shits the bed. Oh, I am crossing my fingers that 2011 is our year for figuring out how to move to Oregon. We should be closer to family, for so many reasons.









26 Responses to “Closer”

  1. Oregoncoastgirl on June 7th, 2011 6:22 pm

    So glad it went better than expected. My condolences to your family.

  2. Angella on June 7th, 2011 6:24 pm

    Well, we go to the Oregon Coast every summer, so I hope you guys move there. It would be great to see you more often than once a year at BlogHer.

    Also. That last photo killed me dead with the cuteness.

  3. Danell on June 7th, 2011 6:46 pm

    Man, your family is just so stinkin’ gorgeous. I mean, really.

  4. JB on June 7th, 2011 7:25 pm

    Haha! I just skim read the paragraph about “cheap hotels” and “kids” and “shits the bed” way too fast. That trip could have been a lot worse!!

    So sorry for your loss, Linda.

  5. Kristin in Mobile on June 7th, 2011 7:41 pm

    Your pictures from Coos Bay always make me ache, they are so beautiful! It looks like a magical place – I hope to get to see it some day!

    Love the family pic (and I agree, you ARE a gorgeous family!! Love your hair, too!) BUT that last pic – of Riley……LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!! I hope you are enlarging & framing that one – definitely a keeper.

    So sorry for your loss and the reason you had to make the trip, but I am glad it went better than expected – it really does get better!

  6. H on June 7th, 2011 7:59 pm

    Lovely photos. I hope your wish comes true.

  7. Carolyn J. on June 7th, 2011 8:30 pm

    In the second-to-last photo, all your menfolk are squinting the exact same squint. That is adorable.

  8. Donna on June 7th, 2011 8:56 pm

    1. When it’s important, kids will come through.
    2. I want to live there.
    3. That is a beautiful photo of all of you, and I want to live somewhere where the mail can be left in the box on your porch. (I know this is random, but I am sooo sick of where I live. Within a 1 mile radius, there were three kids killed in gang related shit last saturday night. In three separate incidents, one of which was right outside my fence. Again.)
    4. The last picture of Riley is an oh so brief glimpse into his future…
    And 5. Looks like good hunting later in the year, lol! Yum!

  9. Christine on June 8th, 2011 6:54 am

    Gosh, I’m so very sorry that you were in Oregon under these circumstances. But hope that being with family in such a beautiful place helped in some way.

    (Also, goodness, you are a beautiful family.)

  10. Nolita on June 8th, 2011 7:45 am

    Glad to hear you were pleasantly surprised at your kids’ behavior! We have a 1300 mile (one way – hold me now) road trip planned this summer with our 3 and we are foolish enough to be excited at this point. We normally drive through because we want to just get there already but we’re old now and have 2 more in the mix so we’ll be stopping for the night to break it up…

    Lovely picture of your lovely family!

  11. Kari on June 8th, 2011 8:05 am

    You look absolutely beautiful in that family picture.

  12. Sara on June 8th, 2011 8:17 am

    I also love your hair. How is it cut and how do you style it like that?

  13. Mandy on June 8th, 2011 8:17 am

    Great pictures, you all look fantastic. Riley looks like such a little man. I’m sorry for your family’s loss, but it sounds like there were some family moments to remember after coming together to celebrate and reflect.

  14. Nothing But Bonfires on June 8th, 2011 11:20 am

    I feel that it’s somehow bad form to say “you looked lovely” about a picture of a person on their way to a funeral, but you really did. Hope it wasn’t too emotionally draining for JB (well, for everyone, obviously.)

  15. Kami on June 8th, 2011 11:37 am

    Love the family photo, gorgeousness.

  16. Life of a Doctor's Wife on June 8th, 2011 12:10 pm

    Glad you made it through such a sad occasion intact. Love the photos – you have a beautiful family.

  17. June on June 8th, 2011 12:56 pm

    Having recently gone to a funeral in which my 3 girls (then aged 2 y, 9 mo, and 9 mo) were the only people there younger than 35, several people told me that it was so good that I brought the children, they were happy to see smiling babies and and a little ‘un, and it helped them get through the pain of the day. I’m glad that your boys behaved well, but it would have been a sweet distraction if they hadn’t, I’m sure.

    I am so sorry for your loss. I wish you the best in realizing your dream to move.

  18. gillian on June 8th, 2011 1:33 pm

    by any chance, is the first photo from sunset bay state park? i hope your dream of moving to oregon comes true. we are contemplating a move to be closer to my parents also. the logistics of having a toddler, selling a house, moving states, buying a house seems, oh, nightmare-ish, but the outcome would be worth all of it.

  19. Lisa S. on June 8th, 2011 2:22 pm

    On a completely shallow note: How do you get your hair to do that? Because it’s looking great.

  20. Linda on June 8th, 2011 2:25 pm

    Sara/Lisa, thank you — I just go at it with a curling iron instead of a flat iron these days, thus ensuring my hair will never be healthy or not heat-fried.

    Gillian: yes, that’s exactly where we were! It was an amazingly warm and pretty day out there.

  21. gillian on June 8th, 2011 4:42 pm

    we used to camp there every summer when my grandparents lived in roseburg. we would always go all the way around the rocks on the left side at low tide and explore all the tidepools and coves past that, and then come back squealing as we barely made it without getting soaked as the tide came in. my most favorite memories.

  22. Sara on June 8th, 2011 5:55 pm

    You look stunning!!! Wow what a good looking family!

  23. Jenny on June 8th, 2011 6:02 pm

    What beautiful photos, esp. the one of Riley in his tie. And your hair is spectacular. Good luck with your big goal.

  24. deanna on June 9th, 2011 6:07 am

    so sorry you had to be in orgeon under such unfortunate circumstances, but im glad you got to spend some time with family.

    also, im glad things went better than expected and that you were able to take the boys to the funeral. in my job i deal with children and death quite frequently (sad, yes) and exposing them at a young age to funerals and death and such in a developmentally appropriate manner is really important. so, go you guys!

    ooh, and lovely photos too! you all look great, especially that last one of riley!

  25. Susan on June 11th, 2011 5:09 pm

    Lovely pictures, lovely family! Thank you for sharing. I’m sorry for your loss.

  26. Diane on June 18th, 2011 6:35 am

    What a heartbreaker Riley is going to be in a very few short years!!!

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