I was going to skip the recap of Thanksgiving and the drive home. There was trip laundry and the crushing disappointment of coming home to unfinished stairs. But then, the boys brought home the homework folders this past week and I found that they had recapped the whole affair and I thought it would be funny to compare notes.
Exhibit A: Cooper’s essay – which I will refer to as fiction, but he would call non-fiction.
Exhibit B: Mason’s Thanksgiving picto-essay, clearly unclear on the meaning of thankful as we don’t have a dog and he hates riding his bike.
Exhibit C: Mother’s last word on the matter.
First let me say, I found having hubby in the car certainly changed the dynamic. Also being exhausted and on the tail end of a binge of good eats and late nights was a factor. Our kids were still good, but they were rambunctious. Here’s how we survived it:
Depart with arms and car loaded with birthday gifts Christmas surprises. Also, plentiful hugs and safe travel wishes.
It’s only 33 degrees in Salt Lake this morning, so we’re grumpy and chattery-teethy. But we fill up our car with gasoline and look for the nearest Starbucks.
Mason’s the first one to break the silence, “Mama, will we be making it back home in time for school?”
The Starbucks has hot happiness on tap and we gladly order as much of it as we can carry. Then we actually get on the freeway and speed into the dark horizon.
“Mommy the sun us coming up,” notices Cooper.
“Yes and it will rise over these mountains and be so pretty.”
With zero interest in my romanticizing of nature’s gift called daybreak he says, “Then we can play the license plate game.”
Mason is humming jingle bells, which I actually expect. What I don’t expect is that Steve and Cooper will start wondering why there is both a Fahrenheit and Celsius measurement.
Mason: Remember the guy who ate deer craps? (Reference to Duck Dynasty, our favorite reality TV show.)
Mason: It looks like an elephant! (Points to Echo Lake)
Mason: That looks like a pterodactyl! (Random mountain we are passing.)
After silence from the backseat we look back to see Mason has pulled his blanket over his head and is sleeping
First prize timer, which Mason sleeps through. Coop is ipad-ing, Steve and I have reviewed all our political conversations from the past week and have decided that unless you lived in Colorado – a truly purple state -- during the 2012 election cycle you cannot possible understand how OVER it we are. Any talk of any politics, any politician, or any political rhetoric of any kind makes us feel a mix of tearing up and nausea. Consider yourself warned.
Drive past Wyoming’s middle of the nowhere Little America.
Drive through Green River and pick out the warehouse that belongs to the parent company of Steve's employer. We tell Cooper we could live here (here as in the town of Green River). He looks around and says, “And do what?” Good point.
Mason finally wakes up. Cooper is clearly happy for that. They banter and play with each other in peace.
Mason is humming Tao Cruz songs when Cooper spots a British Columbia plate!
And now all the I states are accounted for.
Mason: Cooper this globe (my husband’s childhood globe gifted to him by his grandpa) is going to be in my room. But you can still play with it. Just knock on my door and come see it. Or just ask to play with it.
The prize timer beeps and I’m excited because I’m giving the boys a travel version of their favorite game: Blokus to go! They are both really exited to play a game together, and start putting it together immediately
One of my sisters-in-law texts us to show me that Operation Family Pictures is a wild success! Now that I think about it, I need to follow up on those proofs.
We stop in Wamsutter for gas, and courtesy the bathroom stalls I get to add another gem to my treasure chest of Mason-isms. Taking children into a truck station for a bathroom break is always a challenge. At this point in their lives, the boys venture into the men’s room by themselves while I wait in the hallway just outside the door internally counting and monitoring the sort that walk into the bathroom after them. Once they are finished they come out and start cruising the aisles for candy. Excitedly Mason tells us what he has seen in the bathroom. From what he is describing, and what I know of bathrooms, I’m pretty sure what he saw is rated R. But anyways, he describes in fairly enthusiastic and accurate detail the line drawings of a lewd act involving “butt cheeks” and then shouts with absolutely no compunction for the meaning of that word, “It said F*** ME!”
It was a surprisingly crowded gas station.
Mason is now humming the Spiderman theme
Mason: Oh there’s a red sign. I always believe the red signs. (WTH?!?!?!)
Mason: Mama are we close to home? (We’ve just seen our first sign for 287.)
Mason begins a long dialogue with himself, but clearly directed at me concerning the length of time we have left in the car versus how much time it will take us to get home. Basically he’s hoping that the prize timer will sound before we cross the stateline. I’ll also add that they are getting pretty rowdy and I’m not sure I can stand to be in car much longer.
We stop in Fort Collins for philly cheesesteaks.
Back on the road and we finally hear from the disgruntled but quiet Cooper, “We need to get out of the car!”
Home. I’d like to say it was a joyous reunion. But due to some construction headaches, it was tearful and tragic and frustrating.