Sunday, March 13, 2011

All roads lead to the highway ... except the ones that lead to oatmeal

I took a left when I should have taken a right.

I was out of my element, more than an hour from home and it was dark.

As I turned I'd had the feeling I'd gone in the wrong direction, but continued on just for confirmation.

I thought about turning around.

One street. Two streets. A mile of streets. Another mile of streets.

Might as well keep going, I tell myself. Eventually I'll find something I recognize.

In a day in age when gasoline prices are eating into food budgets and car exhaust is poisoning the planet, other motorists might retrace their steps and cut their losses. I motor on through. I tend to think there are only six streets of separation from me and any major highway, and that all roads eventually lead to some place I'll recognize. I reason, maybe the drive will, at the very least, help my over-stimulated children, bickering side by side in their car seats, fall asleep.

I can hear my husband's voice in my head ...

"What are you doing? This is crazy. Turn around."

Even when he's not in the car, he tells me how to drive.

In fact I'm sure, were I to think on it any further, he'd intervene with some form of pocket-sized salvation designed to contradict my fabricated understanding of the universe.

"Being lost isn't the worst thing. Sometimes it leads you to places beyond your wildest dreams."

The bickering stops for a blessed moment. I checked the rear-view mirror. Ittybit's eyes were wide.

"You don't KNOW where we ARE!?!"

"I said some of that out loud, didn't I?"

"We're LOST!?"

"We're not lost, really. I know generally where we are, I just don't know exactly where we are."

"You know what this means, right?"

"It's going to take us longer to get home?"

"No. We are going to have to sleep in our car, and in the morning we'll have to go to one of these houses and beg for food. ... Only they probably won't give food to you, because nobody will give food to an adult ... so I'll have to go up to the door and you'll have to hide in the bushes. ..."

"I am not hiding in the bushes," I say emphatically. "We are not going to pull a bait and switch on a homeowner. Besides, we are NOT going to be lost for long ... I'll find the highway and we'll be home before you know it."

"You know," she continues as if I hadn't spoken. "If they have oatmeal you will have to eat it. Beggars can't be choosers."

"We are not going to have to beg for food. Look, there's a sign for the highway. We're almost back to where we started. Why don't you just relax and listen to the radio."

She's quiet for a while as I turn onto the highway.

"Ah ... mom?"

"What, hon?"

"We're on the highway?"

"Yep. We are. It's the highway alright."

"You know what this means, right?"

"We'll be home soon?"

"No. It means we are going to STARVE! There are no houses on this road."

Some roads lead to highway, others oatmeal

I took a left when I should have taken a right.

I was out of my element, more than an hour from home and it was dark.

As I turned I'd had the feeling I'd gone in the wrong direction, but continued on just for confirmation.

I thought about turning around.

One street. Two streets. A mile of streets. Another mile of streets.

Might as well keep going, I tell myself. Eventually I'll find something I recognize.

In a day in age when gasoline prices are eating into food budgets and car exhaust is poisoning the planet, other motorists might retrace their steps and cut their losses. I motor on through. I tend to think there are only six streets of separation from me and any major highway, and that all roads lead eventually lead to some place I'll recognize. I reason, maybe the drive will, at the very least, help my over-stimulated children, bickering side by side in their car seats, fall asleep.

I can hear my husband's voice in my head ...

"What are you doing? This is crazy. Turn around."

Even when he's not in the car, he tells me how to drive.

In fact I'm sure, were I to think on it any further, he'd intervene with some form of pocket-sized salvation designed to contradict my fabricated understanding of the universe.

"Being lost isn't the worst thing. Sometimes it leads you to places beyond your wildest dreams."

The bickering stops for a blessed moment. I checked the rear-view mirror. Ittybit's eyes were wide.

"You don't KNOW where we ARE!?!"

"I said some of that out loud, didn't I?"

"We're LOST!?"

"We're not lost, really. I know generally where we are, I just don't know exactly where we are."

"You know what this means, right?"

"It's going to take us longer to get home?"

"No. We are going to have to sleep in our car, and in the morning we'll have to go to one of these houses and beg for food. ... Only they probably won't give food to you, because nobody will give food to an adult ... so I'll have to go up to the door and you'll have to hide in the bushes. ..."

"I am not hiding in the bushes," I say emphatically. "We are not going to pull a bait and switch on a homeowner. Besides, we are NOT going to be lost for long ... I'll find the highway and we'll be home before you know it."

"You know," she continues as if I hadn't spoken. "If they have oatmeal you will have to eat it. Beggars can't be choosers."

"We are not going to have to beg for food. Look, there's a sign for the highway. We're almost back to where we started. Why don't you just relax and listen to the radio."

She's quiet for a while as I turn onto the highway.

"Ah ... mom?"

"What, hon?"

"We're on the highway?"

"Yep. We are. It's the highway alright."

"You know what this means, right?"

"We'll be home soon?"

"No. It means we are going to STARVE! There are no houses on this road."

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