Midweek trip north
After mild arguing over the schedule
Me, caving in,
Though dreading the exhaustion
I knew would come on the other side
of twenty-eight hours.
The three of us in the car
Driving into the night, into a storm
Youngest sleeping in the back
Barely able to see headlights
Me, insides winding tighter.
Friendly hotel staff
Comfy room, and college girl
Has to come by and get hugged
Another flicker of energy
Me, fading as midnight nears
Parting ways, see-you-tomorrows.
Restless sleep, now dazed
We eat breakfast, check out of the hotel
Head into town
Me, impulse buying at the antique store
Lunch with college girl
Then back to her dorm to prepare.
Crowded chapel, smiling folks
Lots of professorial caps and gowns
Lots of awards--look, there's her name!
Me, feeling proud of her
(and of myself, for keeping a secret)
On to a steak dinner, well-deserved.
Back to the dorm,
Exchange heels for sneakers
Yes, there's room for your winter clothes
Waving goodbye until she's out of sight
Me, anxiously looking at the clock on the dash
Estimating our arrival home.
Four hours later
Pulling into the driveway
All of us bone-tired, dragging
Me, close to tears as I imagine the alarm
Going off in four-and-a-half hours
We all hit our pillows hard.
It wasn't about me. It was about her. About us, as a family. And it was worth every mile.