Ugh. I did “The Drive” yesterday. The 700-mile kid swap. The boys get time with their dad, and I get time to get some work done. A week from today I have to do it again to go and pick them up.
In my lifetime, especially in adulthood, I have spent probably hundreds of hours and logged in thousands of miles on Interstate-5, “I-5,” the West Coast artery that connects the three states between Canada and Mexico. It passes through Los Angeles, Sacramento, Portland, and Seattle, among many other cities, for a total of 1375 miles. The landscape transforms from stretches of coastline into the urban sprawl of major cities, from flat agricultural areas into the higher altitudes of the Cascade and Siskiyou mountain ranges and the lush green of Washington. It connects millions of families spread out along its reach. Many of them were headed back home yesterday after Christmas gatherings. It was a bit crowded.
I was struck by the universal experience of it all – the traveling to see loved ones, the returning home afterward. I envisioned other families parting with hugs and well-wishes of safe driving, just as I hugged my kids there in the parking lot of the Carl’s Jr. before we got back in our cars and drove off in separate directions. We all experience these partings in varying degrees.
Before Nigel got in his dad’s car to leave, I hugged him and reminded him to watch for cars backing out of driveways when he goes for walks in his dad’s neighborhood. “I know,” he said, but without his usual exasperated tone. Then he briefly made eye contact and said, “I love you, Mom.”
Shakespeare said it best – parting is such sweet sorrow.