Daddy-and-Co-Camo-BackpackI recently wrote a review of Daddy & Co’s Camo Backpack. I’m pretty jealous of the amount of pockets in the diaper bag. I love pockets. I love to compartmentalize.  Keys here. Phone there. Binkie separate from all other germs. It comes especially handy for travel, and dad who shirk at carrying a florally purse-shaped diaper bag can reclaim their manhood with this bag.

Read the review on & Happy Father’s Day Dads.

A few times since having my son, we’ve had to fill out forms asking for Emergency Contacts should we not be available. Growing up, my emergency contacts were an easy line item – my grandmother and aunt, both of whom lived exactly an 8 and 6 minute drive from our house, respectively.

But, my son’s grandmother and aunt lives a painstaking 33 and 30 hour drive away, respectively. Great for visits, not good if he gets a bee sting and I’m in an all-day conference.

It shouldn’t have to be such a complicated question, staring at me on his preschool renewal form. But the sad truth is that I can’t even remember who, in a last minute haste to finish it, we put down last year — and those were people I would apparently trust my child to!

The implications of living far from family really comes to light in these kinds of situations. Who do I trust to drive my son in their car? Who would care for him enough to bring him to a doctors if, for some reason, my husband and I were incapacitated at the very moment he had his own emergency at school? Who even knows him well enough to know where his doctor’s office is located? Certainly not anyone we may have listed last year.

You don’t realize how much you need to trust in strangers and loose acquaintances, or if you are lucky, colleagues, until you move out of driving distance from family to a city where you know no one except your spouse. I find that because of this, I sometimes forced to make decisions that I would otherwise not make because I have exhausted all other reasonable options.

From walking our dog when heading out of town to visit that family that lives on the other side of the country to having children and filling out an Emergency Contact form, it almost forces an annual review of the friendships and bonds we have established in our new city. What new friendships and bonds have we made over the last year? Have any of our friendships or relationships continued to grow and strengthen or have we gone separate ways?

And who on earth can I list as the 3 emergency contacts on this year’s form?

I love train travel. Oddly, it is almost 2 years to the day that I last posted about this love, when I recounted what is is like taking Amtrak along the East Coast from New York to Baltimore. It is one of the things I think about every time we drive up to Albuquerque or Santa Fe from Las Cruces. So much land, if there was only a train to get us there. Then of course, there is the problem of getting around once you reach your destination, but that’s a Zipcar topic for another day…

So when I see maps like this one posted on Upworthy, I get downright ecstatic.

US Map of Future Rail Travel

Las Cruces to LA by train in under 6 hours? Austin in under 3? I could event take the train all the way to see my grandma in Boca Raton, Florida. My grandma would like that.

While I understand the automotive industry’s role in the history of furthering our nation’s rail system, I find it sad and a disservice to our country to not have a better integrated rail system. Especially with how expensive it is to fly now between the tickets and all the added fees.

But the best part of it all would be able to see the country from out the window as the train speeds by, watching the changing landscape and seeing how it changes from climate to climate, plains to hills to mountains. Through the bayou then forests. Until the ocean comes into sight. No watching for other cars on the road. No traffic. Go ahead and take a bathroom break, we’ll keep moving along.

Before the holidays, I started as a contributor to the fast-growing mommy blog, I hope to bring my insight of entrepreneur meets motherhood, how to balance the two, and the challenges of raising a child when far from family. Here are my first few posts… Enjoy!