Brigham and I recently drove to Texas Tech for his freshman registration and orientation. It’s hard to believe child number three has successfully moved through high school and into the next phase of life!
Lubbock is a l-o-n-g drive from Flower Mound. With a whole lotta nothing in between. My husband is great with marathon car trips, he can get us from the Big D to Milwaukee (Go Brewers!) in less than sixteen hours after he’s worked a full day and taken a cat nap. (He prefers driving through the night when there’s no traffic and the kids aren’t pestering him every 30 miles about how much longer it will be before we get there). Me, I don’t drive so well after about an hour or two behind the wheel. I warned my son as this little trip approached that he’d have to stay awake and entertain me during the drive. As it was we needed to leave at 5 a.m. in order to find our parking spot and get inside to the orientation on time.
On the [early] morning of our departure, Brigham and I were outside, in the dark, packing up the car when he announced, “I’m just going to go back to sleep for a little bit mom.”
“Brigham, I told you I don’t drive long distances well, especially in the dark!” I responded. “Just a short time mom, I promise” was what I heard as he laid his head down.
I noticed the sun come up a little after 7 a.m. as we drove through Bumble#@$%, Texas. I began to think about the two ounce bottle of 5 Hour Energy I’d picked up at Walmart the night before our trip. At just about that time there was a stirring in the back seat of the Kia Soul and I thought maybe my son would join the land of the living to help me with the drive.
No such luck, he had just turned over.
Next thing I know we’re in Abilene and I was seriously buggy, so I pulled into a service station, filled the gas tank, emptied my own, and decided to chug the energy drink.
I’ll never do that again…
About ten miles down the pike (Middle-of-Nowhere, Texas), I see a police car along the side of the road. You know that feeling you get when you see a police car on the side of the road and you realize you don’t know how fast you’re driving? Never having used my cruise control (never, as in ever), I spew a series of four-letter words that immediately brings my son’s head into the rearview mirror.
Not knowing (a) the speed limit, (b) what speed I was actually going, and (c) how to stop my body from jittering from the energy drink, I know the scene is not looking good.
Somehow, I manage to pull over, find my driver’s license, and what I think is current insurance from the glove compartment. I roll down the window in time to smile at the nice officer who has come to remind me that even in the middle of nowhere there are limits as to how fast one can go.
After a polite exchange and my second attempt at finding the current insurance, which this time actually produced it, the nice officer let me go with a warning.
“You are DONE sleeping my son.” Brigham knew better than to try and put his head down again. He jumped into the front passenger seat and, thanks to several additional hours of rest, was able to keep me entertained until we found the right parking lot for orientation.
And I figured out how to use cruise control.
Several hours of sitting and lecture listening later, it was time for us to hit the road once again. This time I made sure Brigham was front and center as we returned to Flower Mound. It gave us quite an opportunity to talk about all sorts of subjects, from religion to politics, childhood memories to favorite recipes. He even added Snapchat to my phone so we can keep in touch come fall.
Thank God my husband is coming along to help on Move in Day. That will allow me to pursue my favorite car riding pastime, reading a good book!
Guns Up! And be sure and keep your eye on the speed as we head into a new school year!
Kimberly Muench is a Flower Mound mother of five and author of “My Mothers Footprints: A story of Faith, Calm, Courage, Patience and Grace.” To see more of her work or to contact her, visit www.realifemom.com.