Rainy Sunday

Were you a fan of the "Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy" series? I was. The entire meaning of life was simplified to a single number. It even had  practical advice that I actually had use for today. "Always carry a towel. It can double as a blanket in need." One of my friends quoted the book this evening and it has me thinking.

In my younger years of train travel I hit destinations that guaranteed adventure: Amsterdam, Venice, Moscow. My travel these days tends to be via car up the familiar highways of I-78 and 33N into the Pocono Mountains, either as a destination or a stop on the way to my hometown.

Today we returned from our yearly ski weekend with the Ms and the Bs. It was probably just my mood, but this weekend wasn't quite as fantastic for me as last year.  But I realize now that I got something relatively rare. Time alone with C.

She and I drove home together. No friends, no other family and no Diego, and while I was able to confirm that I really can't stand Justin Bieber, it was worth every bar of his annoying music to spend time with C. She shared her short-term plans and long-long term disappointments. She shared a description of her new Middle School friends - edited for parental approval. I was able to talk with her, not lecture her, not teach her, not nag her. I listened and later shared with her how proud I am of her and why. She knows that, of course, but a little reminder of my admiration isn't a bad thing. Is it? I looked at this young woman and wonder why do I get so worked up about so many small things? Why can't I just enjoy the journey we have together?

Through the storming rain I tried to avoid puddles. Both on the highways and in my conversation. In the blink of an eye she will be entering the world, leaving me behind. I think for her high school graduation I'll give her a Eurrail pass, just as my parents did. And a copy of the Hitchhikers Guide to go with it... there are some trips you simply can't take with your Mom. Luckily today's ride wasn't one of them.


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