Monday, September 5, 2011

Holiday Drive

Sunday, I woke up burnt from a long, over-scheduled month, determined to get to Quinn’s for Labor Day. It took me forever to pack, which was mostly throwing dirty laundry into bags and stuffing the bags into my compact trunk. By the time I picked up the girls from their dad, we were an hour behind schedule.

Like most Sundays, I was excited to see my kids and they were on their best behavior for about
twenty minutes. We were optimistic about joining our homegirls at Quinn's in the not-too-distant future. I refused to worry about lagging. What's lagging when your day's a blank slate? Well, let me tell you. Shortly before The City, we stopped to grab In-n-Out, because my children were surely going to perish without it. The Whole Food Gods wasted no time in cursing our road trip.

The hysteria began with the bee that flew into the car while we were in line at the drive thru. The kids huddled under a blanket, convinced it was the end of their young lives while I threw small toys at the dumb bee that wouldn’t take a hint. Obviously, the stresses of life have nothing on me.

When we got back on the freeway, I took a wrong turn, which has become so much more than my signature driving style. It’s really an approach to life. It didn’t fully sink in until I saw the stadium . . . and the flood of people wearing orange. Uh oh. Two hours later, still several agonizing minutes away from finally leaving The City, all hell had broken loose in the backseat.

There was the threat, “This will be the day that you die!” offered with the solemn confidence of an older sibling. There were the quick, painful slaps a younger sibling relies on for self-defense. There was soda splashing from one girl to another, punctuated by a momentary strangulation that went too far and a long, piercing cry.

Of course, I handled it like a pro: You don't threaten . . . ANYONE! No slapping! Stop it! Stop it!! I SAID STOP IT!! NO STRANGLING EVER!! IF YOU DON’T STOP TORTURING EACH OTHER, WE’RE GOING HOME! Are empty threats still empty when you say them really loud?

I was beside my freaking mind when Daisy read, “Broa-d-way. Mom, that’s Broadway!” I know! We want Broadway! . . . The kids questioning my sense of direction was getting annoying, although, clearly, they had their reasons. Violet interrupted me with, “We’re in Manhattan?!”

It was one of those sparkly moments with kids, when one sec outshines the torture of hours. The kids laughed when I explained that though it felt like weeks since we had left home, we were actually still in the Bay Area. I asked my five year old how she knew Broadway was in Manhattan. She claimed innocently, “I donno."

I heard later that during our molasses tour of The City, Bindy made her kids wait for us in front of Quinn's then couldn’t take it any longer and waited with them. The way things have been going lately, I just have to say - Bindy, maybe it's time you ditch the husband. Who are we kidding? That kind of devotion doesn't grow on trees.

Especially considering how long Bindy waited. I was in Petaluma before I realized I had passed Quinn’s exit miles ago. We rolled up to Bindy’s welcoming committee only three hours late.

Happy Labor Day!

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