My mother and my little brother share this intense love of cars and all things vroom-y. And I like to be inside of the vroomy things. I am supremely uninterested in how it works or why it works. All I care about is the windows down, stereo cranked, wind in my hair, what speed limit?
I love to drive. I used to drive a lot. Just for the fun. I would take the longest possible route home, purposely get myself lost in the middle of nowhere. A full tank of gas and who cares if we missed that turn, let's see where this road goes.
My long drive (about an hour each way with stops for kids) is a big part of why I live where I live. (Let's be honest, ridiculously low housing prices in the smallest town in the world is another big part.) I like to get in the car and go.
I like the feel of the road under my tires, the push and pull of curves and hills, the roar/purr/clanky jive of the engine. It's an experience. Driving. It fills me with peace and happiness and faith in the world around me.
Or it used to.
Now, it fills me with headaches and misery and screaminess. Why? Because the car is much like the octagonal ring in UFC. By that, I men that the minute we get in the car, my kids start with each other.
"Don't touch me." - "I'm not touching you."
"Maren caaaalled me Frienna."
"You hit me! She hit me! Make her sit on her hands."
"Be quiet! I don't want to hear you sing."
"I just want to go to sleep."
"It is not a bear. There are no bears here. Mommy would have said, hey kids, look, it's a bear if there were a bear."*
"That's my baby. Get your own baby."
"Why won't you share your blanket with me."
"I dropped my puppy."
It never ends. Until we get out of the car. And then, magically, it's:
"I'll get the mail."
"Do you need help with your backpack, Maren."
"Mommy, can I unlock the door?"
But by then, my nerves are shot, my patience is gone, my head is throbbing and all I want is to go to bed.
I find myself dreading getting in the car. I find myself trying to avoid driving places.
Someone tell me this will go away. Please. Before they both have a licence. Just in case: only-thirteen-more-years, only-thirteen-more-years.
I love my kids, but I sure miss my drive.
*I'm not totally convinced I would. It would probably be more like, "Holy Pants, where'd that bear come from? What should we do? Should I call someone? Bear on the lose, bear on the lose." I live in the boonies, but not that far in the boonies, y'all.