With the sun dipping behind the trees and the dinner dishes still on the table, I watched her grab her purse. As she headed for the back door, he grabbed his keys and joined her, hand on the small of her back. We’re going for a ride. Wanna come?
I couldn’t think of anything I would rather do less than go for a ride with my parents in the backseat of their non-radio-listening car. No thanks. They would just ride around, she sitting there pleased like Ms. Daisy, he driving slow like an old man. At least that’s how my fourteen year old mind saw things. What a waste of time! How boring!
And then? (You know what’s coming). Last week, I got old and boring. After The Man and I had dinner at a place I don’t even remember now, we got in his car and we drove around. We made a big loop around our side of the city, he driving slow like an old man, me sitting like Ms. Daisy, only in front. With the windows down, the air had a cool sweetness reserved for early summer. I was ever so pleased to watch our town roll by shaded gold by the evening light. Even the rundown buildings looked like art.
As I soaked in those minutes with my Love in that quiet car, I thought of them. I saw my parents as if I was in the car with them that day rather than on my bed on the phone with Heather, Bryan Adams signing from my red boom box. I saw them as peers for a moment, comrades surviving the battles of parenthood, lovers needing a little time and space away from the dirty dishes and maybe even the kids. It took me nineteen years, but I think I get it now.
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