The Drive

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.

13 thoughts on “The Drive

  1. hellokittiemama/MT

    aww. bittersweet.

    The time apart will seem to fly yet be endless at the same time. Hopefully you’ll get lots accomplished and also take some time to actually rest 🙂 🙂 I know you’ll miss your kids though. Tough, over the holidays.

    Hang in there!

  2. Fearless Females

    That’s so sweet. You’ll miss them but a good break and a quiet house is good for you too!! Meghan goes back to school this morning, so I know how it feels to be without…

  3. Casdok

    Must be difficult for you. But i hope they have a good time and you manage to get the things done that you want to. The time im sure will fly by.

  4. jess

    the i love you mom – the greatest gift there is.

    just out of curiosity – any reason their dad can’t drive them back? why do you do the round trip twice? should i not ask?

  5. Tanya Savko Post author

    Hi Jess – we actually split the drive. Their dad lives in LA, and I live just over the Calif./Ore. border , so we meet up at a junction in central California to do the swap, approx. 350 miles one-way for both of us. Then we eat lunch, turn around, and drive back! It’s a long haul, but worth it for the boys’ sake.

  6. Kate

    Aww. How often do you do that? Where does he live?
    700 miles sounds like a lot,how many hours does that take you?
    My parents lived half an hour from each other when they got divorced, so it was much easier. If they had lived that far away they would have flown us, or not done it at all, although I realize that would be difficult with Nigel.
    Now they live on opposite sides of the country but we’re older so it is a moot point.
    Hope you have a good week!

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