May 18, 2007


The college roadtrip

"They've got a good day for it, " my husband said early this morning, looking out the window. He added wistfully, "A college roadtrip. I never had a chance to go on one myself."

Down in the kitchen, my daughter was making sandwiches, packing a cooler full of food. Her bag of clothes had been packed the night before; next to the bag she had lined up maps, her purse, her cell phone, and a yellow legal pad covered with writing. FirstExtra was wide awake, too, helpfully carrying things out to the car.

Boy in Black, on the other hand, was asleep on the couch. He has simply never been a morning person. When he was in kindergarten, I used to carry him down to the couch and get him completely dressed for school without him ever waking up. He's almost a foot taller than his sister now, way too big to be carried out to the car, but I had confidence she would somehow get him out there.

I followed my daughter around, giving last minute motherly advice. The advice was completely superfluous, of course, since my daughter is way more efficient and organized than I am, but I felt it my duty as a mother to hover.

They had a nine hour drive ahead of them, traveling several states away to visit Sailor Boy, who is just finishing his training with the Coast Guard. They will be delivering a box of stuff from Sailor Boy's family, including bags of homemade cookies from his grandmother. Grandma had even included a bag of cookies for Daughter and the boys to eat in the car.

Me: You got everything you need?
Daughter: Of course.
Me: Make sure you don't let Boy in Black fall asleep at the wheel.
Daughter: Don't worry, we'll be blasting music.
FirstExtra: Oh, yeah, we'll be rocking out. Don't you worry.

Boy in Black said nothing, just turned over in his sleep.

Me: No, seriously, don't let him drive before noon.
FirstExtra: We'll be fine.
Me: Driving overtired is like –
FirstExtra: Driving drunk!
( He and Daughter exchanged high fives.)
Daughter: We know. We'll be fine.
FirstExtra: We've got homemade cookies.
Daughter: Hey, any chance you want to donate some gas money?
Me: I stuck in your purse earlier.
Daughter: Sweet.

My Smart Beautiful Wonderful Daughter and First Extra packed everything efficiently into the trunk of the car and then somehow managed to wake up Boy in Black, who grabbed his duffle bag and stumbled out to the car, wearing the same clothes he'd slept in, his long uncombed hair hanging in his eyes.

Their car pulled out the driveway. My husband and the younger boys had already left, and I had the house to myself. I checked my email, ate my breakfast, and enjoyed a long phone call with a friend.

Then I left my mug of tea on the windowsill with impunity.


PPB said...

awesome last line.

Ampersand said...

Then I left my mug of tea on the windowsill with impunity.

oh yeah!

Ampersand said...

Or I should say, in the current vernacular, snap.

BeachMama said...

Great closing line ;).

Hope they have a great road trip, I love those and miss the simplicity of driving long distances without a toddler in tow.

Linda said...

Ah...BiB has given you good reason to enjoy their departure without guilt. ;-)

liz said...

Laughing about the tea!

Chip said...

hey, that's gonna leave a mark on the wood!!! :)

niobe said...

Don't forget to put it away before they get back. ; )

todd said...

You just lost your windowsill priviliges.


Great story!

Anonymous said...

We've been using the "privilege" system around here since your first post. If it had been strictly enforced, I'd have been eating out of the pot and sticking my head under the tap to drink.


Rana said...


Yankee T said...

Sounds great.

kate5kiwis said...

we've had so many laughs about the Cup Privileges...
i hope you popped it in the dishwasher before The RETURN.......