I’m sitting in a room with a flowery chandelier, surrounded by legos and preschool art, covered by sheets bearing cars and airplanes. These are not my usual digs.
My father-in-law is ill, which is sadly not anything new. But my mother-in-law called this morning to tell me the latest, and my husband is in crucial business meetings he cannot leave, and my gut said “Go. You need to be there.” So I loaded up the truck and I moved to Beverly. Which means, really, that I threw every cable and charger and cord I could find, threw them in a bag, grabbed some clean undies, situated my daughter with my mother, and embarked on the 4 hour drive to Atlanta all by my lonesome.
Freedom in a car with no child and no one to complain about the volume of the radio and no “OMG, I can’t believe you’re listening to THAT, change the channel already” is a dangerous thing. I spent half the trip listening to a blend of news about the death penalty – both for gross negligence in the management of sexual misconduct and for a potentially drugged-acting aspiring neuroscientist who went on a murderous rampage that no superhero could stop.
The other half of the trip, I cranked that dial (Remember when radios actually had DIALS, kids? No? Well, get off my lawn!) to the Broadway station. It was a treat for the other drivers on the road, I’m sure. I did only just manage to stay between the line of my own lane as I shoulder danced. At one point, a car almost pulled over to let my sirened vehicle through, only I don’t have a siren. (No one to complain about the volume while I listened to showtunes, remember? Get it?)
I Mamed it up, Rented it out, and hit a note from Phantom that about made my nose bleed, and I am SO not kidding. Seriously.
I should not be left to drive unattended for four hours. I make an absolute fool of myself and arrive at my destination completely hoarse and covered in my own blood and tears. (What? You’ve never cried at a showtune? You’re heart, it is DEAD.)
For now, I’m about to curl up ensconced in this little boy room some of my husband’s friends have so generously let me use, and see if I can sleep (little boys have cooties, donchaknow). Hopefully, tomorrow will prove that this trip was pointless – that I was simply overreacting in my daughter-in-law-ly duties and offering comfort in a situation where everything was fine and we can all go home and sleep in our own beds. Which means that maybe even tomorrow evening, there’s another 4-hour drive all by my lonesome ahead.
Praise the Lord and pass the earplugs!