Sunday, July 21, 2013

Light in Dark Places

It’s been a fairly hectic week for this Sandwich Generation mom.  I drove to Baltimore on Wednesday to pick up Youngest Daughter.  There were no hotel rooms available, so I stayed with my Mom. I also visited my aunt.  It’s just a different world at the retirement home, and that is all I can say about that right now.  A bright part of the trip was visiting with my older brother, who happened to be there.  I don’t get to see him very often.

Baltimore is a tropical rainforest in the summer, with the occasional large and potentially squishy toad sitting on the sidewalk.  It was damned hot.

I drove home the next morning with Youngest Daughter, which meant that I stayed less than 24 hours in Baltimore.  One good thing about being the only driver is that I got to decide when to stop to use the bathroom.  That’s a crucial thing when the driver is using excessive soda=caffeine consumption to stay alert.

The other good thing about the drive was the chance to have a good long chat with my daughter.  Our topics included Nazism, how to argue, political stability, the Natural History museum, why communism doesn’t work, annoying human behaviors, whether we should stop to buy a pie (no), the ancient history of Russia, and what Dad would do if I spilled my soda all over his car.  Once upon a time, I would have been qualified to pontificate on these topics, but that is no longer true.  I told YD to read books about these things, but she wanted my view.  I guess that’s part of being a mother.

Once I got home, my driving duties continued: YD to marching band practice; me to the grocery store.  By 9:30 p.m., though, I was in my pajamas and truly exhausted. 

As I headed upstairs to bed, I saw that the outside front light was on.  Thinking that one of the kids might be out in the yard, I opened the door and shouted, “Is anybody out there?”  No answer.  So I closed the door, locked it, and turned out the light.  Bedtime at last.

About 10 minutes later the doorbell rang, followed by loud banging on the door.  My husband and I stumbled to the front door, thinking that it could be the same policeman who, last week, rang the doorbell at midnight to tell us that the car lights were on (left on by Oldest Daughter).  But no, this time it was Oldest Daughter herself.  She was furious at being locked out.  She said, “It’s NINE THIRTY!   WHO goes to BED at NINE THIRTY?!  And how could you LOCK ME OUT?!”

To which I should have replied, “Who goes for a walk in the dark?  Who doesn’t tell anybody that she has gone out?  Who doesn’t take her house key with her?” 

The Common Household Slogan:  We’ll leave the light on for you, but not past 9:30.


Suburban Correspondent said...

No pie?!

Angie said...

Sounds like a wonderful drive home with YD. Car rides generate the best conversations.

I'm tired by 9:30 after a normal day, let alone after driving 5 or 6hours!

Cassi said...

That's a great slogan, and one that works well here too.

Emma and I just had a great conversation in the car the other day about how gas prices, which may seem expensive, are really very cheap because of government subsidies, why the government wanted to promote the use of cars, how the vastness of the U.S. and the auto and oil industries all played an important role in keeping gas so cheap. Really, I could homeschool that kid in the car :-)

Anonymous said...

Those long car rides generate the BEST conversations. My kids are always asking wonderful questions, too.
No pie? For real?

The Crislers said...

I think 9:30 is a perfectly reasonable time to turn off the light. As is 8:30.

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

I convinced myself to not go to bed at 9pm tonight. I'm now re-thinking the wisdom of that decision since I have gotten a "second wind" even without caffeine consumption.

PS: My own hard-earned wisdom: do not drink your way across the state if you aren't very, very sure of the locations of each and every necessary rest stop. (I don't think the truckers saw me...)