Last week, my youngest celebrated his 20th birthday. Yes, my youngest. Yes, his 20th. Just seeing that in print makes me wonder where the hell all the years have gone since he was born!!! Geez, seems like yesterday he was a wee bitty one. So, I agreed to pick him up from school, which is a five hour drive one way, bring him back home to celebrate with family then take him back to school the next day. My plan was to get up Saturday, as I normally do during the week and leave the same time I leave for work. He had other plans.
Friday night he called.
‘Hey bud!.’ (yes, I realize he is now 20 but it is a mom’s prerogative to use nicknames no matter the age of the child)
‘What time will you be here tomorrow?’
‘Oh, probably about 10 am.’
‘Oh.’ (then silence)
‘I was hoping you would come earlier.’
So, being the crazy lady I am, I went to bed at 9 pm Friday, setting my alarm for 2 am. All the while realizing the clocks were to spring forward come Sunday morn. However, my child was asking to come home and I was going to grant his wish. After all, I figured it was the least I could do for his birthday.
2 am the buzzer sounded and I was off. I jumped out of bed, took a potty break, made some coffee, slipped into my sweats and sneakers, grabbed my coat, purse and coffee cup and walked out the door into pouring rain. For one second, I thought about going back in, resetting the alarm and sleeping a bit more. ‘Mom, could you come earlier?’ His voice whispered in my ear, breaking the spell, forcing me to run to my car, start the engine and be off. Here is what I encountered…
Hardly any traffic. Sometimes the road was just me, my wipers swishing, the radio and lights shining from the distant farm houses. At times it felt as if civilization was no more. Very eerie indeed!!! As I kept driving, the night kept going. It made me think about those places where there are months of darkness at a time. Except the dark surrounding my car was so midnight blue, I had to ride with my brights on for most of the journey. The whole ride was definitely, at times, a bit surreal, especially when the creepy stories started up in my head. And, I have only seen the first episode of this 4th season’s half of Walking Dead that aired in February!!!! However, I arrived at my son’s place at 7 am. And, he kept his promise by driving us back home, chatting up a storm about school and getting me food when I told him I was beginning to feel like those people in the Snicker bar commercials. If there is one thing, my kids don’t like is a wabby crabby mom!!!!
Not sure if I would do the mid night drive again. However, I do know I love driving with no traffic. But I didn’t like the heebie jeebies that came along with it due to my overactive imagination!! And when we arrived safely home, I took a 3 hour nap!!! Interestingly enough, as a kid, I HATED naps!!! Now, they are a treat!!!
Anyway, the birthday boy enjoyed his day with me, his brother and my mom and dad. He had Sushi, while the rest of us ate Chinese. Then we dined on ‘Yummy Cake’, a delectable dessert comprised of cream cheese, Cool Whip, pudding and a flour/butter/pecan based crust topped with more Cool Whip. Another birthday…another year older…another new experience…and more memories to behold.
As my youngest has reminded me, as he contemplates his career choices, ‘Mom, family is more important.’ And I would add, ‘Time spent with those we love is priceless, no matter what time of day or night.’