A few weeks ago, I was guilted into driving with my oldest daughter to Colorado for her senior year in college. She wanted to have a car with her, and even though she could have made the 16-hour road trip alone and she didn’t need me to join her, she not so subtly dropped hints that anything less than my personal companionship would be paramount to child abuse. I caved. Embarrassingly fast. But what can I say? I’m a mom.
Leading up to the departure date, I obsessed about my survival strategy. This kid is one of our talkers, like stream-of-consciousness, doesn’t-come-up-for-air, word-vomit kind of talker. And her passions are K-pop girl bands and microbiology, two topics in which I am woefully uninterested. If I couldn’t mitigate the verbal deluge, the debilitating nothingness of Kansas would be the least of my concerns. So, I made a list of “safe” conversation starters, queued up several episodes of “Armchair Expert,” and acquiesced to the fact that for at least part of the drive, I’d be a fully engaged, active listener, even if it meant enduring a diatribe on the latest Blackpink drama or miraculous discoveries in parasitology.
It ended up being a wonderful experience. Did I roll my eyes countless times before we crossed the Indiana-Illinois border? Yes. Did she speak endlessly on the aforementioned subjects, oblivious to my blank expression and thinly veiled irritation? Of course. But will I forever look back on that Saturday with fondness, grateful for those precious moments with one of my girls? Absolutely. Because who knows when I’ll have her all to myself again.
What can I say? I’m a mom.