Today I sat in the back seat.
I rolled the window down. All the way. And held my hand out into the open air, twisting it around to cup the breeze in my hand as it passed by.
I laid down completely in the back seat and stretched out, not having to be responsible for anyone or anything. I folded my legs comfortably, spread a blanket across my lap, and closed my eyes. As the road twisted and turned, i smiled. I recalled doing this as a kid, trying to guess where we were at based on how sharp the turn felt.
I listened to my dad and my brother converse with one another, hassle each other, and then sit comfortably in silence.
When we arrived at our destination, I hopped out of the car with one quick fancy step, smiling that there was no car seat to unstrap, no shoes to retrieve, and no preschooler to beg and plead to please exit the vehicle immediately.
As we headed toward our table for lunch, I felt myself floating toward my seat, slowly pulling it back from the table, and sitting down on my own accord.
Once handed the menu, I perused it leisurely. No reaching across the table to prevent renegade crayons from rolling onto the floor, no explaining about rules and manners, no searching through my purse for items of entertainment.
See, I love being a mom more than I have ever loved being anything. She and I are compadres, we are soul sisters, we are forever threaded together by our love.
But today I was just me. Old school, original me. The me that ponders over the colors of a fall tree, the me that stops briefly in the parking lot to take in a breath of fresh fall air, the me that closes my eyes for a moment, with faith in the world, faith in my dad and brother.
Once you become a parent, it becomes your turn to drive. To monitor the crayon situation, to make sure bites are taken, tushes are in seats, pleases and thank you’s are said. That hands are held in the parking lot, that there’s no running ahead, that there’s no touching things, no breaking things, no excessive dilly-daddling ensuing.
But that day you get off, when you can close your eyes and breathe in the fresh air, and smile at the familiar laughter and bickering, it’s a step back in time. And today, it was glorious.