“So I’ve got this crazy idea,” he says to me, twenty minutes before we need to leave our house in Milwaukee to catch our flight. We’re on our way to South Carolina for a week with some family, and we are, for once, surprisingly organized.
“Let’s drive instead.”
“What?” I ask him, “Are you kidding me?”
“No, seriously, think about it. It’ll be fun. We can talk the whole time, get to know each other again.” His eyes light up with his smile, but I can tell he is teasing me. We both know this is not what happens on our road trips.
Milwaukee to Charleston is just over a thousand miles, and unlike the road trips of our courtship, we now have a one and three-year-old in tow. Fifteen hours each way in a packed car is not how I envisioned sandwiching our family vacation, and his precious PTO days.
And then it hits me. Thirty hours with two small, mostly-car-friendly kids who will be contained, occupied and an arm’s length from anyone. Thirty hours with a husband who has dozens of episodes of Marketplace and Planet Money queued up and who is happy to drive with earphones. Thirty hours of mostly daylight with my bare feet on the dashboard, writing notebook and pen in hand, novels and a stack of magazines at the ready.
“Alright, let’s do it,” I say, with no exclamation point. I exhale loudly and roll my eyes just to emphasize that I’m taking one for the team here, inwardly trying to contain my excitement for this freedom I’ve just been handed on a plate. “We can do your road trip, but I want to stop for a coffee on the way out of town.”
“You got it,” he says.
Yes indeed, and I sip it slowly, savoring the ride, all the way there.
Once her two boys have gone down for naps and she’s reheated her coffee for the third time, Meagan Schultz enjoys writing about everyday life from a mother’s perspective. Originally from Santa Cruz, California, she now lives with her family in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.