July 26, 2008

Long drive home


On our trip to Ultimate Capital of the Universe, we drove through rain and rain and more rain. We spent hours in the car, eating and talking, which is more or less just what we do at home all the time, except — as Boy in Black pointed out — we had a lot less room. My car fits two adults nicely, with a back seat that would work well for some small children. It doesn't do as well at accommodating the long limbs of teenage sons. (On family trips, we take my husband's vehicle, which is considerably roomier.)

The rain stopped for about an hour in the evening, long enough for With-a-Why and me to swim in the motel pool. Of course, more exciting than the pool was the cable television we had our room. The tradition for my kids is to change the channel about every minute or so, which kind of makes me dizzy. They never really find anything they want to watch, and in fact, it doesn't seem like they are even trying; they just like the thrill of seeing just how many programs there are.

We got up early, per Shaggy Hair Boy's instructions, to drive to the Ultimate Training Camp, which was held on a campus with green lawns, old trees, brick buildings, and misty hills in the distance. Almost as soon as we parked the car, the rain began again, not a gentle summer rain, but a steady downpour. For the next three hours, we stood in the rain, totally drenched, and watched mud-splattered high school kids play Ultimate.

None of the players seemed to mind the rain. In fact, the soft soggy ground makes for an exciting game because the players are more willing to "layout," a move which entails throwing your entire body on the ground in an effort to catch a disc that's low-down and a bit far away. One team was happily practicing layouts in a ditch that had filled with water, and it looked like they were having all kinds of fun. All the players seemed to be playing their hardest and really concentrating on the game, and that always makes a sport exciting to watch.

We were pretty much the only family on the sidelines, although a handful of other parents (dressed in dry clothing, I noted enviously) did show up later for the awards ceremony that was held in the lobby of one of the buildings. I realized, gradually, that many of the kids were leaving by airplane, which explained why they didn't have parents present. The awards ceremony consisted mostly of counselors handing out discs for all kinds of things, and everyone humming Pomp and Circumstance while the kids were high school seniors went up to hug or slap hands with the older kids who had been their coaches.

Eventually, Shaggy Hair grabbed his bag of dirty clothes, and we stood in the rain trying to figure out how to wedge four people into the back of my car. My daughter had volunteered to drive, which meant the smallest person was in the roomiest seat. Boy in Black, the tallest person, pulled his seat forward until his knees were pressed against the dashboard, making room behind him for Shaggy Hair Boy, whose knees were against the back of the seat. Skater Boy, jammed against the car door, had his backpack in his lap because we'd run out of room for it. And that left me and With-a-Why to climb into the middle seat in the back, which we were somehow sharing.

It all would have been easier if we weren't all so absolutely soaking wet. I did have a happy moment when I remembered that I'd brought a pair of dry socks and could discard my dripping wet sneakers for clean white cotton. Boy in Black instructed me to shove my sneakers under the seat. "We can't have any wasted space." And then finally, crammed together so that With-a-Why's bony elbows were pressed into my side, we began the trip home, listening to Shaggy Hair Boy talk about Ultimate with the zeal of a convert who has seen the disc.


Cathy said...

:) sounds like FUN! Even if you were crammed like sardines and got soaking wet.

Kathryn and Ari said...

Nothing like rain and a tiny car to promote family togetherness. It's a good thing you all get along so well!

Songbird said...

It does sound great, wet clothes and all.

Yankee T said...

I know you had a great time.

Mary said...

When your kids were little, did you ever imagine being squeezed soaking wet into a tiny car with these big teenagers? Life as a mother is endlessly amazing, isn't it?

Gawdess said...

I really enjoy the "through a window at night pictures", that sense of getting a glimpse into a hidden place - I feel that way about your writing too.