Today I am celebrating time in the car, on the road, in the dark, at the end of a long day and a longer week, with my oldest daughter. Yesterday, after school, I drove the three plus hours to her college to pick her up and bring her home for the weekend. I was tired. Really tired. I wanted to go home and curl up with my book. But she wanted to be home too, and it was a time when I could say yes rather than no. So I went. And I am so glad that I did.
I arrived just after sunset. We quickly gathered her belongings and headed to find a bite to eat. While we had planned to get takeout, we decided instead to sit down at a restaurant. At that point we knew we were going to be on the road late into the evening, so an extra half hour or so didn’t really matter. We ordered fried green tomato tacos and sipped San Pellegrino lemon soda.
And here is what I love. She started talking, about this and that, the ups and downs of her social life, the beginning of the new semester, her newfound commitment to a tidy room and clean sheets every week, and she talked for more or less that next four hours. She talked the way children do, to their parents. I call it the download. (And truth be told I still do it with my mom!) She told me all about the class she almost dropped, but decided to return to for a second day, and how that second session was perhaps the most moving experience she has ever had in a classroom. She talked about what she’s learning and who she’s meeting and what she’s thinking and how she’s growing.
Today I’m celebrating the chance to listen and learn from my daughter, late at night, on a dark highway, at the end of a long tiring week. Best Friday night I’ve had in a long time.