“Do you want the van tomorrow?” my husband requested. “I’ve to drop off my automotive for inspection.”
Want the van? What precisely would I want it for?
“Take it,” I mentioned. “I actually can’t keep in mind the final time I drove it.”
The previous three months, surreal and disturbing as they’ve been, have had some upsides. Like a minivan parked in our driveway for days at a time.
A tank of gasoline that lasts for weeks.
I don’t miss driving. And that is from somebody who at all times equated driving with freedom, who nonetheless bemoans the lack of her first automotive (a 1974 pea-green Fiat), who grew up considering a Sunday drive within the nation was a deal with. (Children, that is what we used to do! Pile within the Ford Fairlane and watch the world spin by. Each Sunday. When you have been fortunate you’d see some actual, stay horses within the fields and possibly cease at a corn stand on the way in which dwelling.)
I digress. And the van nonetheless sits.
Why? As a result of I’m not spending 40 hours per week shuttling my daughter forwards and backwards to her varied actions.
Not that I minded, precisely. We’re supportive, doting mother and father. We’re 100 p.c the wind beneath her wings. Additionally the anti-lock brakes and V-6 engine.
However nonetheless. The driving bought previous. Watching the clock – is it time to go away? Will site visitors be flowing or stalled? Is it raining or snowing, and in that case, how are the roads?
Is there a Steelers/Penguins/Pirates sport? Or a big nation music live performance? Can we examine the parking app and see if any spots can be found?
She’s achieved a summer-long dance intensive Downtown for the previous 4 years. Typically we have been in a position to carpool with different households, however usually each methods have been on me.
We had the entire thing right down to an actual science; if we didn’t depart by exactly 7:35 a.m., we’d get caught in rush-hour site visitors and the journey would take twice as lengthy.
(Does rush-hour site visitors nonetheless exist?)
These summertime commutes have been a problem and a puzzle.
As quickly as we caught our first glimpse of the Fort Duquesne Bridge (you realize, the one which’s laid out like a elaborate piece of knitting?), we’d know if the final half mile would take 5 minutes or half an hour.
After I picked her up within the night, I’d circle the block until I used to be dizzy, hoping for a coveted free parking spot to open.
However this summer time, the dance program – like every thing else that entails respiratory or sweating on another person – is canceled.
And no, I gained’t miss the driving.
However I’ll miss what occurred on the drive.
The high-octane conversations after rehearsals. Listening to what transpired throughout her day – the thrill, the disappointments, the surprises. Seeing the world by the eyes of an lively, hopeful, endlessly constructive 16-year-old.
It virtually makes me need to get within the van and go for a Sunday drive.
Charlotte is a columnist for The Instances. She could be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.