Over the River & Through the Woods

The car door slams. A headache sizzles at my temples. One hand drums angrily on the steering wheels. One child is whining while the other’s long thin legs pound the passenger seat’s back. I’m forgetting something, something important. Loading the trunk I unpack my brain. Traveling with children is like decamping a circus, I think running back to the house one last time. Our tattered caravan backs out of the driveway and the children begin hitting each other in the backseat. Already exasperated, we exchange looks. We exchange a look. He navigates our narrow street. I fish for my phone and trying to remember what I’m missing. I don’t think about surviving strokes or where my kids are. I don’t know about variants or probation or planning a funeral. Driving through orange flame oak leaves we head for the highway on the way to grandma’s house. I’m hoping my ginger cranberry sauce doesn’t leak. He puts his hand on my thigh and tells me that story again. I still giggle. We pick up speed. The boys start singing Ring of Fire. Loudly. Soon we are all singing Maybe Baby. Loudly. The apple pie cools on our kitchen counter and I remember.

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