Scene - small back seat in sporty bargain attempting to hurtle down the highway but instead crawling. Between two bored girls ages nine and fourteen. Empathizing yet? My daughters are affection seeking and cuddly little darlings. The oldest was nicknamed heat seeking missile as a toddler. The few times she slept with us left me clinging to the edge of the bed with a sweat slicked child glued entirely to my backside. The youngest bed-locked me in a straight jacket of twisted sheets one stormy night. These girls are pros.
I don’t recall who started the first mother intensive game. It began with the standard “My Mommy”. My children sometimes lack creativity – but the do make up for it with dogged determination. This lovely game consists of a volley style tug of war with increasing intensity and passion as the competitive rivalry escalates.
Parental warnings are issued and somehow rated with a point system.
“Hey, you didn’t say ________ to me. Not fair.”
This is where I apparently turn into more hilarious than all comedians to ever grace a stage. The kids howl as my warnings turn ever creative and then mere whimpers.
Furtively I began to look for a pen and a piece of paper. Would a desperate “HELP ME” held up to passersby earn me freedom from the torture? Not likely since the traffic still limped and lurched like a newbie bronc rider.
A slight reprieve. The girls responded to the look. Minutes later and about 100 yards of highway, a little hand wormed itself into one of my limp ones as I drank deeply of the silence. A head found my shoulder. Then the sibling saw. War was declared. The jostling ramped up. I leaned forward shoved my head into the front seat and whimpered. Of course, I also managed to breathe deeply at an inopportune moment. I mentioned there were males in the front seat. I squealed and recoiled. Masculine laughter joined the chorus of “My Mommy!”
Some might argue the medical terminology I’m going to throw out. But me-thinks since it’s my story and blog, I can call this two and a half hour ordeal what I wish. I survived it – and didn’t get a T-shirt made to commemorate though maybe I should. I tried counting and went to every happy place I could think of and even borrowed a few. The girls blew past fighting into giddy. The smells from the front assaulted me. I cracked and began to laugh. I believe this moment in time is actually a mini-nervous breakdown. MNB is a rare medical condition that results in extreme emotiverrhea.
I held my breath, popped my head over the seat. “How many more miles?”
But hey, I saved thirty bucks plus tax.
Change. I've learned to embrace it, ride it out til the end. Sometimes I'm kicking and screaming, other times weeping with my eyes clinched tight. Once in awhile I ride like a dog in a car, head out the window snorting what life has to offer. Mother to young adult children, a marriage of thirty years, and a desert to mountain to valley waltz with God have shaped me into someone I never imagined I'd be. Life is short and I want to live it. Tears, sighs, laughter and change. Every morsel granted to me. Scrambled, shaken or stirred.