Packing Craziness: Not So Happily Ever After

Getting ready to travel with my sisters is like preparing to go on a pilgrimage across Europe for five months. I mean how much stuff can two nineteen-year-old-girls possibly need? A lot is the answer to that question!

The main trip my family and I take is to Disney World every few years. My sisters have always loved it, and surprisingly it’s a place we’ve all grown to love and enjoy as a family. When it’s time to leave for the airport, everyone is excited and ready to go right when the car arrives to drive us to the airport.

HA-HA! No, not so. My mom INSISTS on bringing our whole entire house on trips with us. It’s like an addiction that she can’t kick. No matter how many times my dad and I plead with her not to bring three full suitcases each for Emma and Olivia, the routine stays the same. To give you a better idea, let’s break it down by item:

  • Clothes: Obviously a necessity for anyone. For my sisters, this means 20 outfits for a seven-day trip, equipped with yoga pants, tank top, over shirt, zip-up jacket, and socks. Over-the-top? We haven’t even gotten to the best of it yet.
  • Shoes: All of the shoes my sisters own come with us wherever we go. Need I say more?
  • Diapers: Since my sisters aren’t fully potty trained, they wear adult diapers. In a pack, I’d say there are about 20 diapers. Mind you, they usually go in the bathroom, but once in a while they’ll have an accident and need to be changed. My mom prepares fully, and brings about 10 packs of diapers with us. She’ll check about 15, and bring about five on the plane.
  • Food: Emma and Olivia are the pickiest eaters of all time. Emma only eats pizza and a few snack items, and Olivia eats a few more things and is able to eat at restaurants, but also likes her snacks. So what do we bring? Frozen pizza and snacks. I would say five bags of chips, Smartfood Popcorn, fruit roll ups, etc. Each. Plus a few dozen boxes of frozen pizza.

Now, my dad has developed a new system where he ships some of this stuff over in advance, which has helped out very much. We arrive, and all the food and some of the other things are already there and put in the room. What hasn’t changed and probably never will, is the mad rush right before we get in the car to drive to the airport. Clothes are being shoved in suitcases; pizzas are being thrown across the room into freezer bags; sisters are being antsy and running out the door ahead of everyone else – it’s just a mad house.

When we finally get to where we’re going, and everything is settled and unpacked, we always appreciate my mom’s over-the-top packing strategies. No matter how frustrated and crazy we feel while she’s doing it, she knows the girls and knows what they need. Their needs are so much more than ours, and sometimes we forget how much extra attention and planning that needs to go into account when traveling with them. It’s a part of our lives that mom definitely knows best. Sometimes it’s just a matter of letting her do her thing, sitting back and just putting it all in the car.

theautismresearchfoundationPacking Craziness: Not So Happily Ever After

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