Sunday, August 12, 2007

A Thank You Note to My Children

Dear Sean and Allie:

Thank you so, so much for being supreme troupers on our return trip from northern Virginia.

First, you slept through my realization that the front tires seemed to be making a repetitive "bump thump" sound as we zoomed up 95. You didn't awaken until after I had pulled off the interstate, found a gas station, parked in front of an air pump, and stared perplexedly at the pump's instructions. Unfortunately, you did have to witness my shameful capitulation to automotive helplessness as the gas station attendant helped me put air in the tires. Allie, I'll make sure you won't be a similar position when you're driving.

You even managed to refrain from laughing at me when, a few minutes after the tire situation was addressed, I decided to fill the gas tank. After we pulled alongside the pump, we all sat in the car for several minutes, impatiently awaiting the attendant, until I realized that we weren't actually in our state and that I would have to pump the gas myself.

With freshly inflated tires and no more bump-thumping, it appeared that the rest of the drive might be uneventful. It was, until an ominous sign warned that "Major congestion" loomed ahead of us.

Major indeed. And it is your behavior during this stretch of the trip for which I am truly grateful. You didn't complain once as we inched along the highway. Not even when I had to turn off the air conditioning and roll down the windows to make sure that the engine didn't overheat. There wasn't even a hint of squabbling in the hour and a half it took us to travel a whopping 15 miles. I am so impressed that you entertained yourselves by playing with your Etch-a-Sketch and Doodlepad, reading books, playing "I Spy", and singing songs.

And when we reached the source of our traffic woes -- three lanes of traffic melding into one -- you seemed fascinated by all the construction equipment. I would have been fascinated, too, had I not been recoiling in horror over the fact that as we traveled over an extremely high bridge, the construction crew was actually lifting up a portion of it on a crane. Given the recent tragedy in Minnesota, I worked hard to suppress thoughts of the three of us plummeting into the Susquehanna River.

Of course, I kept all this to myself. All you knew was that we were finally, gloriously, driving 65 miles per hour.

Thanks again for helping me maintain my sanity. You guys (oops, there I go again) are the best.