A supervised road trip, that is.
It has been a while since my last post…
Mostly because I am recovering from spending 12 total hours in the backseat of a Honda Civic. Six hours down to Virginia about a week ago. And six hours back home this past weekend…
The driver? My Godchild who isn’t really. She decided I could be her Godmother. Which is fine, because I love her like a daughter. It’s complicated…she is my daughters close friend and I used to date her father.
Riding shotgun? My daughter armed with directions, the Atlas and a portable GPS–or navigation device.
In the backseat? Me.
Hail Mary, full of grace. The lord is with thee…
The girls are both 16. Each has a (rather new) valid Ohio driver’s license. And they badly wanted to drive from Ohio to Leesburg, Virginia to spend a week visiting Aunt Kate and Uncle Joe. Leesburg is just outside the beltway, near Washington D.C.
The girls approached me. Then they approached Mackenzie’s Dad. (AKA my former flame…) We parents talked it over. We agreed that the girls should go and believed they could handle a ‘road trip.’ The solution? A trial run…sort of like a test.
Which is how the menopausal woman (Me) wound up in the backseat, where the air conditioning doesn’t reach. I perspired profusely all the way down to Virginia and all the way back.
The girls tried really hard. They ran the air conditioning. They put on sweatshirts. But my poor ‘Godchild’ had to dial the air conditioning down, when her fingers got numb. The girls couldn’t be ‘human popsicles’ in the name of my comfort.
While we’re on the subject of my comfort, did I mention that both Gracie and Rocky traveled with us? Naturally, they rode in the backseat with me. Like a fur coat, but with loose hair flying about.
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name…
Not for our safety. Was more praying that I wouldn’t lose my mind back there.
Which might have been a lost cause. My being in the backseat in the first place might have been a sign that my mind was already gone.
The girls did just fine with driving, tolls, handling money, knowing when to get gas, using cruise control–I truly did pass them the reins. They developed little systems for where to put the toll tickets, reading the GPS and other little odds and ends. They figured out these systems on the fly, and executed them as they went along.
My Godchild drove like a champ, even on the narrow Pennsylvania Turnpike with the semi’s and through the inevitable summer road construction—even in dense traffic on the trip back home. My daughter proved a proficient navigator, “Get in the right line when you can, in two miles we need to veer to the right…that type of thing” It was an impressive display of teamwork.
They were rock solid. Competent. Responsible. Mature. Showed excellent judgment. Never made a wrong turn. (And thank goodness for it, because I couldn’t have tolerated extra time in my traveling sauna–spitting dog hair out of my mouth.)
If they had gone the wrong way, I would have let them—and they would have had to get themselves back on course. No point doing this, if I wasn’t going all the way with it.
I was hot, sweaty and (mostly) silent. Seen but not heard. Honestly, I couldn’t have shouted if I wanted to. I had sinus congestion going on and with it, a touch of laryngitis.
“That is going to be very nice,” commented my loving daughter. Not sure she realized that nobody else volunteered to be the guinea pig in this ‘field trip’ of learning.
The high points….
Aunt Kate’s cooking…she is truly a culinary genius. Not overstating this. Grilled pork chops, steak, homemade chicken salad, strawberry shortcake, 7-layer cookie bars and much more.
The low points…
I love my children, but I enjoy great peace and tranquility when they go away for a day or two. Likely because it is a rare occurrence. Our successful trip might just leave me with some free time now and again…
The best thing to come of this road trip? The girls proved they can be trusted to take another one. Without me…