At The Beginning

Every time the kids and I cross over the highway in our car (which is pretty much every time we’re in the car, since said highway is only a quarter mile away), Kid #2 points out his window and says, “That way to Disney!” He’s not wrong or anything. He is pointing south and all, but it’s not exactly right down the road.

And then I start to have heart palpitations because that trip takes us two days. TWO DAYS strapped in a car with two small children. And then I’ll remember the last time we made the trip, when we didn’t even make it onto the highway (yeah, the one that’s only a quarter mile away) before we had to make our first stop.

And then, while I’m recalling the time that Kid #2 screamed at the top of his lungs for the entire first hour of the trip, Kid #1 points out her window in the opposite direction and says, “And that way to New Jersey!” Also not wrong. ALSO a long trip.

And then I’ll remember that trip, which is always an adventure. I’ll remember the storm that rolled though Virginia when we were stuck on a road with no way off for miles, and everyone pulled off onto the shoulder, and it felt like this weird claustrophobia, even though there was nothing in sight for miles. And I’ll remember how I started to panic that we were sitting ducks for a tornado or something. The Husband explained why that was highly unlikely, but it didn’t matter because I’d already thought it, so I couldn’t unthink it.

Or I’ll remember the time when we cut through the mountains and every car had to put their flashers on because the fog was so thick that we couldn’t see three feet in front of us.

Or when we finally, finally, crossed the border into New Jersey and traffic stopped dead (because that’s what happens when you cross the border into New Jersey) and it took another two hours to go the last 20 miles.

But then we get there. And it is wonderful. (YES, I said NJ is wonderful). Later, we'll tell the story of our adventure to get there. We’ll roll our eyes, but we’ll laugh.

But each time I start out, it’s like I’m looking down this road of a million different possibilities, equal parts excitement and terror.

Which is how I’m feeling now, about to start in on a new project. Like I’m starting a long drive to some place I can’t wait to be. And I’m wondering if I’ll have to stop, or if I’ll make a wrong turn, or whether the kids will cry, or maybe they’ll sleep, or maybe they’ll sing the ABC’s 734 times in a row. And maybe there’ll be traffic, or maybe a storm. And will I know what to do if a tornado comes through? And what if the fog is so thick that I can’t see what’s right in front of me? And maybe we’ll have to pull off the road for a while. But maybe we won’t.

I don’t know yet.

But right now, I’ve just got to get on the highway.