Now leaving the house, the parking lot, or the even the drive-through is an event. Instead of carrying a sweet little purse and placing it demurely in the passenger seat, my hands are now filled with extra sweaters, snacks, water bottles (stainless steel!) and backpacks. But that usually isn’t enough. Driving away from the house is merely a suggestion of actually leaving. Inevitably, there is something left behind and often the neighbors are witnesses to a dance known as ‘The Flight of the Minivan.” We leave, come back, someone runs into the house and back, then we leave again only to return again as another member of the family runs back into the house for a much needed object and perhaps, after twenty minutes of leaving and returning, we are finally able get to our destination. Or not. Usually by then one of the smaller passengers needs to use the restroom.
Heading into a store from the parking lot? Perhaps. Or, perhaps I am actually preparing for an extended stay in that store. No longer do I grab my purse, lock the door, and simply walk into a store. Nope. Now there is another dance needed that resembles a primitive ceremonial dance around the minivan as supplies are gathered and kids are unbuckled.
No, I don’t remember those days: Those days of simplicity. The days were heading into a store only took a minute, leaving the house happened only once per trip, or driving away from Burger Palace and having all of those hot, steamy fries to myself. I don’t remember those days because that simple life isn’t important anymore. Now, as I buckle in the munchkins, I receive hugs and kisses. Now, as I take some extra time to put on a little sweater, I receive hugs and kisses. Now, when I rush from the house during a second stop and arrive with the forgotten sock, I receive hugs and kisses.
I don’t want to remember those simpler days. I know those days will arrive again. They will be back when the children are grown: When all I have is a half-full purse and an empty passenger seat. When I will drive away from the house on the first attempt and not see any fingerprints on the windows and the car will be silent. Those simple days will arrive, and when they do, I WILL be remembering these days.
Jennifer Caddell enjoys writing science fiction and has a short story published in an anthology. She also spends her time being a mom, a wife, a gardener and a photographer. She shares her adventures in her blog “Building Character” at http://jcaddell.com
photo credit: toyxperts.com.au