Parenting, Teenage road trip, Travel

Teenage Road Trip-Part Dos

photo by Jim

My two youngest hit the dark road at 3:30 a.m. heading to San Francisco for three days. My son is nineteen, my daughter twenty-two, and they took three friends with them in a small SUV. Remember those days? Some of us did that kind of thing in a VW, the Beetle, not the van. Ah, to be young.
They’re probably cramped up by now.

A few months back, Vegan son planned his first road trip. I’m using ‘planned’ in the loosest sense of the word. He abandoned his SF trip and headed to Santa Barbara instead. This time the kids have a hotel, courtesy of mom, because it’s what Adventure daughter wanted for her birthday.

Vegan son didn’t take luggage, not even a backpack.

     “My toothbrush fits in my pocket and I have on two other t-shirts under this one.”
     “Oh-kay.” (eye-roll and nose scrunch)
     I didn’t ask about underwear. Glad I’m not in the car with him for six hours.

Adventure daughter had her Harajuku camouflaged Duffle bag for her two night stay, a Trader Joe’s grocery bag filled to the brim with eats, a small rolling cooler for beverages, and a map in her hand (in case the GPS on their phones didn’t work). The other three teens had backpacks, bags of snacks, and smiling faces. Their parents didn’t come over to see them off.

photo by Jim

It was with a little melancholy that I said “safe travels, have fun,” as I tried to be as innocuous as possible in my cheetah print flannel PJ’s and robe. I  had to search their faces to see a glimmer of their eager smiles hidden beneath their cool exteriors when I reminded them to be alert.

Did you take your chargers, your insurance cards, jumper cables, Triple A card, water bottles…?
They got into the car without a look back. I know they glance in the rear view mirror and see 19 and 22 year old young adults. But I see 6 and 9 year old children looking back at me.

My mom’s voice blasted through my thoughts: “when you have kids, you’ll know…” Yeah, yeah–but it’s true. I wanted to throw that maxim in my kids detached emotionless faces, but I didn’t. I know they heard me.

At seven fifteen Vegan son texted me that they were at a rest stop. They saw the sun rise over the San Luis Obispo mountains earlier: “Ah-sum,” he said.

At eleven o’clock, Adventurous daughter texted “Here.”
Noon: “They said they need your ID and Credit Card #, front and back, by fax or email or a $100 deposit, I don’t have $100,” Adventure daughter wails.
12:30: We don’t have a fax so three emails and phone calls later (incorrect address) the card info is sent.
12:35: “Ok, thank you so much.”

I can take a nap now, since I’ve been up since three thirty this morning. It’s hard to let go and believe that they don’t need mom.
Well, maybe they do, for a hotel.

5 thoughts on “Teenage Road Trip-Part Dos”

  1. Love this post! I remember when I moved away from home at 18 yrs old…..Now I wonder, “How was I ready to do that?” But perhaps that's the thing….when we are young, we don't know how much we “don't know yet,” and so, we don't limit ourselves. Ah….to be that carefree and naive….. “Ah-sum!”


What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.