The definition of excitement is being a passenger in the car your child is driving on the way to see the love of his or her life. My husband Mark and I have been passengers on two such trips recently.
I still remember when I was the one driving. My parents were pursed-lipped, white-knuckled prisoners to my crazed desire to get somewhere else and see someone else fast.
If I could, I’d put things in reverse and drive just as hard and fast backward to those fleeting moments in the car with my parents. I’d linger a little, holding my mother’s hand and letting her choose the playlist. I’d ask about her memories of World War II, the Holocaust and the Great Depression. I’d ask my father to tell me stories about growing up on farms in Minnesota and Washington and, once again, what it was like to drive Highway 2 past Glacier National Park when it was still a dirt road. Every time I pull onto Highway 2 and head toward town, I imagine him zooming by 90 years ago with his parents in their old Model A, oblivious to the fact that his daughter would one day live just up that hill on the left and that she’d think of him and miss him every time she drove down that road.
I’m thrilled that our children have wonderful someone elses to rush to. Things are as they should be. All vehicles are pointing in the right direction on life’s one-way road. There is no reverse.
I’m equally thankful that Mark and I have reached the point where, when it’s just the two of us, we’re content to mosey along, well under the speed limit, with no desire to get anywhere else or see anyone else fast.
Except maybe our grandchildren.