It was an almost ordinary Friday night, save for the full moon, 70 degrees at 8pm, the new Mumford & Sons cd playing and my kiddo and his dog in the backseat. We had just finished up getting dinner and doggie treats and on the way home, it came over me to just drive, get away from the city lights with the music loud, sunroof open, windows down, and 2 of my favorites with me. I just wanted to go.
Mom: “Wanna go for a ride”?
Kid: “What? Huh?
Mom: “Do you want to go for a drive, you know like that night we drove home through the mountains from seeing Uncle Hank?”
Kid: “Sure, can we drive to Oregon?”
Mom: “What? Huh?”
Kid: “Sure, where are we going?”
Mom: “I’ll find a spot…”
We drove out of the city, on the freeway, and I was feeling that spontaneous, free, expansive, wide-awake feeling where thoughts seemed clearer than clear, and yet rushing in from all directions. I was thinking about things I had read that day, the simplicity of dinner with my boy and his dog on a warm-summer-is-over-but-it-doesn’t-feel-like-it evening, the music and lyrics and how they filtered in and out and attached to passing thoughts, formed new ones and helped make some thoughts just make more sense. Music has its way with us, yes?
Feeling the undertow of all this, we sped down the center lane of the 3 lane highway, when a car on my left raced past me, cutting me off as it darted at a diagonal to make the off-ramp on my right. It was alarmingly close and in the split second it took, I realized how fast things can change sometimes; in just an instant. The car sped off down the off-ramp, my heart raced, and I second-guessed whether I had tempted fate by taking this detour from our normal routine. I curbed my enthusiasm to use some four letter words, remembering I am already in debt to my kiddo for ‘indiscretions’ already made…
I found my country road and the darkness I was seeking so that the moon could cast its glow upon the faces of my companions, cuddled up in the back seat. We took turns standing up through the sunroof, moon bathing of sorts. As much as I liked this solitary location, in equal amounts I felt uneasy about being out in the dark countryside sitting by the side of the road.
So, off we drove, onto a road with gently rolling hills, undulations you might say.
I would speed up, and then coast down the descent, each time feeling in our bellies that swoosh you get with each downturn on a swing. My grin matching his giggle, I heard the words, “this is awesome”. We turned around, and rode the hills, heading for home. But, I realized I wasn’t done yet.
Mom: “Do you want to do that again?”
Kid: “Only if you do”
Mom: “No, it’s for you, do you want to?”
Kid: “If you do”
Mom: “No honey, if you want to then let’s, if not we can head home”
Kid: “Mom, if you want to, then let’s do it”
Mom: “Nah, that’s ok, I thought you’d want to”
I am headed towards the freeway entrance when I hear:
“Actually, I do kinda want to do that again…”
Just in time, and with a grin as big as my face, I turned the car around, found the rolling hills, all lit up by the full moon and we laughed our way up and down, up and down.
It was an almost ordinary Friday night.
Come along for the ride…windows down, volume up loud [go full screen if you can]…