Thursday, April 28, 2016

Car time is me time

I'm a driver. In life, some people are drivers and some people are passengers. And an unfortunate few take the bus. Kidding! But me, I'm a driver. I love to drive anywhere, anytime. Suggest a shopping trip down to Bellingham and I'll almost always offer to drive. I'll offer, somewhat because I get carsick, but mainly because when I'm behind the wheel I am at home.

In college I was on a work term with a magazine which required me to do interviews all around the region. I was constantly heading out in my teal green Chrysler Sundance and driving for hours while navigating Alberta range roads. I loved it; it never got old. I spent my college years driving back and forth from B.C. to Alberta on summer breaks, either for moves or for visits.  To me, my happy place is cruising down a highway with the windows down, sunglasses on and some great tunes playing loud on the stereo.

And then I had kids.

Sometimes when we get into the car, I forget I have kids. The sun is out and M.I.A. comes on my playlist; the windows go down, the sunglasses come on and I'm cruising on Highway 7. And then a little voice yells over the rush of the wind, "MOM THE WIND IS HURTING MY EYES! MOM MY HAIR IS IN MY MOUTH! MOM, WHY IS SHE SINGING ABOUT BANGING ON THE DASHBOARD? MOM! MOM! MOM!" And I think for a moment, "I don't care if your eyes hurt! MOMMY IS HAVING A MOMENT!"

But of course, I sigh and roll up the windows immediately. I change M.I.A. to RAFFI and remind myself that "bitch" probably isn't on the word learning list at daycare. Mind you, my music options didn't change for the first few years of having kids. I continued to listen to house music, rap and rock. And then The Babe started repeating "shut up and dance with me" and I thought to myself, perhaps 212 by Azealia Banks is not something I would like her to repeat in public. (Seriously that song has some nasty lyrics. Great beat. But nasty lyrics.)

As Slippery Fish replaces Bad Girls, I pass out more crackers. My car has become home to crackers in the door, gummies in the glove box, fruit in the console and is now a veritable crumb factory. For the first time since I bought my car, I just had it cleaned inside and I didn't even recognize it when I saw it afterwards. I strategically had it cleaned after driving the girls to a weekend at the grandparents' so that I could maximize on goldfish-free drives for the whole weekend.

Yes, the husband and I had a whole weekend to ourselves and it was glorious. We went to a late-night (read 9 p.m.) concert in the city, stayed in a hotel for the night, met up with friends for beers (read cider for me) and ate out. A lot. It was great to reconnect as a couple and to just be hands-free for a few days. This full-time work, two under 5, triathlon training schedule has got me beat. I'm actually supposed to be putting away a week's worth of laundry as I type this, but I needed to get a a new blog post out before 2017 rolled around. A weekend with the spouse is highly recommended if you can swing it. Some people said we looked like honeymooners with the holding hands by the end of the weekend.

And we spend most of the time driving around with the windows down, sunglasses on and the music on.

~ H