1. My journey begins by driving my grandchildren, ages one and three, to their home four hours away. My anxiety over this responsibility dissipates the farther along we drive. One-year-old J. blissfully sleeps away like an angel in my rear view mirror. Three year old M. entertains me with song and witty conversation. Sometimes she speaks in riddles:
M.: "At Aunt Colleen's house I let aaaaaaalllll the water out."
Me: "You let out all the water? From where?"
M.: "From my bladder. I went pee before we left."
Other questions posed to me, "Where do the stars go?", "Why are the trees green (nor not) on top?", "Where does the moon go?", "Why is it dark at night?", "Why are there clouds?"
How quickly I had forgotten the joys of parenting.
1a. What would a road trip be without an emergency potty break with two toddlers. We stopped at the nearest gas station along a stretch of country road in the middle of nowhere. It looked a bit sketchy if not for the kindly gentleman clerking the store. He spotted us entering and asked, "Restroom?" I nodded yes with a big, "Thank you!" It was clean!
2. Last night I dreamed I was hugging Daughter #2. I haven't seen her in a year and in my dream I felt overwhelming joy through my tears. Today my dream came true.
3. The children have been away from their mother for a week. That's a long time for little ones. Three-year-old M. laughs uncontrollably when we pull into her driveway and she realizes where we are. One-year-old J. stares at his mother, not comprehending. Then he quickly reaches his arms out to her. Their mother, my oldest daughter, is brimming happy tears herself. So, there in the driveway, reunited mothers and children hug and cry and laugh. All overjoyed to see one another.
4. Daughter #2 will begin her big journey this weekend. She is hiking the Appalachian Trail. It's two thousand, one hundred, eighty-four miles long, stretching from Maine to Georgia.
4a. I tried on her pack and got inside her sleeping bag. They engineer some amazing gear these days.