I took my children on a road trip over the summer.
My husband was in the middle of a creative project, so it was just the three of us; I joked that I was recreating the family drives of my ’70s childhood, with no movies or gadgets in the car, several singalongs and the occasional “stop that immediately or I will pull over!”
It was an eight hour drive. They didn’t sleep the entire time.
I loved the feeling that we were all hurtling along together, the highway spooling out behind us as we set off on an adventure. We stopped for doughnuts and gas and a late lunch, once I realized that we would not arrive at our destination anywhere near lunchtime – but otherwise, we just drove, mostly contentedly.
We spent the better part of a week at a house in the woods which was the family cottage of two of my dearest friends, and the site of many a revelrous sojourn when we were all much younger. It felt like such a gift to be able to be there with my babes, to layer new experiences onto my memories of being there, and to gather my old friends and all of our young children in one place: everyone got along, and there were bonfires and duck dinners and lake swimming and wine – all of the same components, in fact, that I remember from our party years, but somehow sweeter.
We left amid promises to hurry back.
This morning, I am packing up the car again. Neither the drive nor the stay will be quite as long – we are going to the city this time, and it’s September now, with all of its attendant have-tos – but it will be so good to get back on the road, to get my arms around my friends, to witness the reunion of our children. We will be staying in my old neighbourhood, a place steeped in romance and nostalgia. There will be old haunts and things we’ve never seen.
We will find new experiences to layer lightly and carefully over my memories of a cherished time and place.
I can’t wait.