We woke early on New Year’s morning to finish loading the car for an overnight, family ski trip a few hours away. The night before, we’d worked with our three kids to pack their gear with the plan that they’d roll out of bed in their PJs and continue sleeping in the car.
Everything went smoothly until we stopped for breakfast two hours into our trip, and Eleanor asked where we’d put her shoes. “Aren’t they on your feet?” Turning around, I saw her fluffy slippers poking out from under her blanket, and it dawned on me that our 11-year-old had chosen slippers over shoes during our wee-morning departure. The night before, we’d packed gear for swimming and skiing, so she also had flip flops and ski boots.
With roads and walkways covered in slush, it seemed like a big crisis at the time. We drove around looking for someplace to buy her some proper footwear, but all the stores were closed for the Holiday. We argued about who was to blame and what was the right solution. But in the end it didn’t matter. I carried her into the ski chalet, and she wore her ski boots into the hotel. Around the hotel she was in flip flops, and donned her slippers for the return trip. We had lots of fun—and a few laughs about the mishap.
Since that episode, Eleanor has become a very thorough and organized packer. And this story has become part of our family narrative. Every telling conjures memories, sparks laughter, and warms our hearts. Celebrate your stories and make new ones.