Tuesday, April 13, 2010

An open letter to the pioneer women of the olden days.

First of all, let me just say that I find it highly ironic that I'm writing a letter to pioneer women of long ago. Presumably, all of you ladies are dead.

But that small detail is not going to stop me from writing this letter anyway.

I hope that you all are up in heaven, reading my blog on that great big laptop in the sky. Now pay attention, because I am about to give mad props to you. What are mad props? Well, it's just my way of saying you ladies rock. Er...you are cool. Er...you've got it goin' on. Er...sorry. I don't speak pioneer language of the olden days, so try and follow along the best you can.

Okay. Last weekend, my husband and I took a roadie with our four kids to visit family on a three-hour car trip north. (Pioneer translation: It would take 6 months for you to get there in your covered wagon.)

I know your covered wagons are rad and all, but a car trip? Hold onto your bonnets, ladies. A car is completely covered, not with fabric, but with steel, and it runs on an engine with horsepower, not four-legged animals. In other words, you can get where you're going fast.

You might want to hold onto your aprons now too ladies, because GET. THIS. This "car" of ours has a DVD-player in it. A DVD-player plays movies (perhaps you know them as "moving pictures") on a small screen right in the comfort of your own car! (Believe me. You would have killed for one back in the day.) The best part is that these new-fangled movie things entertain your children while you drive to your destination, allowing you to enjoy a peaceful drive and maybe even a semi-private, uninterrupted conversation with your husband. Bliss.

Do I need to pass the smelling salts yet because of all this excitement?

Yes, some of us modern women resort to such mind-numbing measures in order to maintain some semblance of sanity and order on our road trips, and I'm not ashamed to admit it.

It's not like my kids are addicted to it or anything.

Wait. Is twitchiness and randomly reciting lines from their favorite movies a sign of withdrawal? Perhaps I should rethink that last statement.

Anyway, I forgot to bring a single movie with me on this particular trip. Not a one. Not a disc in sight. No problemo, right?

Wrong. Stupid mommy.

The first leg of our trip was fine. We made it to our destination in 3 hours while our kids read books, talked, and we sang, "Imma Be" by the Black-Eyed Peas.

Whoa. I think I just lost you there. Yes, Black-Eyed Peas are a tasty side dish to you, but here in the future, they are my jam. No, not jelly. Not preserves. But jam. Not strawberry jam, but a musical jam. Just think of the dances you do at your barn raisings, and make them a little faster and your skirts way shorter. Way. That's the Black-Eyed Peas.

My head is spinning.

So what is my point? What does any of this have to do with you?

Well, as my husband and I made our 3-hour trek back to our home a few days later, I thought of you and what kind of patience and stamina it must have taken to journey across the country with your families in a covered wagon carrying screaming children and all your earthly possessions.

And you did all of this without throwing one or more of your children out of the back of the wagon and making them walk the rest of the trail.

Ladies, you are the bomb.

That means you're awesome.

Um...it means you're way cool.

Um...you're nice. How does that sound?

Dang pioneer language.

Our 3-hour trek home last Sunday was challenging, to say the least. The first hour of our trip was fine. We talked about our weekend and what we saw and what we did. Then all of our children decided to turn up the volume at the same time, out of sheer boredom.

THE VOICES IN OUR CAR GOT LOUDER AND LOUDER.

Kind of like that. Only louder, whinier and potty mouthier. 

Why is the word "butt" so hilarious to young minds? Riddle me that, pioneer women. Was it the same back in your day? Can you at least humor me and tell me that your children would scream, "POOP" at the top of their lungs across the lonely plains?

My children are good travelers because we have always lived long distance from our extended families, but they have their limits. Last Sunday was a perfect example.

How did you do it ladies? How did you survive your long journey? Did your children whine in the covered wagon? Were they bored out of their skulls with nothing to look at? Did they instigate farting contests...er...contests of flatulent abilities? Perhaps a burping contest to make it interesting? Did your husband insist on driving the car until the light by "E" on the gas gage turned orange, indicating that you were about run out of gas because even though he won't admit it, it secretly gives him a thrill and makes him feel like he's living on the edge?

Wait a minute. Let me try that last question again in words you can understand. Did your husband insist on driving the horses across the plains despite the fact that he knew they were starving and about to pass out from exhaustion, even though he won't admit that it secretly gives him a thrill and makes him feel like he's living on the edge?

Understood, sisters? Am I speaking your language yet?

I admire your perseverance ladies. Without you, the west would have never been settled, because we all know that even though your husband was doing the driving of the horses and playing the role of "boss," you were there making sure chaos did not reign, and your husband did not run out of gas...er...horse power. We all know who the real boss was in that situation.

Do you want to know how I know that? Because if not for you, whining would have taken over, families would have given up, and covered wagons would have stopped somewhere around Illinois. Yep, Illinois would be the "West Coast" of America.

Don't even get me started on your beloved pioneer kids, and what it was like bathe them in a creek probably once a week. Mad props to you again.

And to think I was frustrated because we forgot our DVDs the other day.

Sincerely,

A mom who would have lasted 20 minutes in the pioneer days. 

No, make that 10.

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