Mother of All Mavens

A whole lot o' nothing. And then someā€¦

You know you’ve turned into a grandmother (or, more specifically, my grandmother) when suddenly the act of driving becomes a ‘thing’. Not regular city driving – puh-lease, road rage aside, that’s a piece of cake… Unless a very good or very bad tune comes on the radio and you need to fiddle around with controls and lose your concentration and…wait, where was I. See? Here and on the road.

No, city driving it is not. The ‘thing’ is the not-that-new and not-that-irrational fear: highways at night. Or in the rain. Lord help us all if it’s the 1-2 punch of a rainy night. God forbid poo poo poo. See? My grandmother.

I was recently invited to a friend’s cottage. For the day (I hate going to other peoples’ cottages for any longer than a few hours. More on that another time). We organized everything – when I’d come, what I’d bring blah de blah blah. Except on the morning of, I woke up to news… Weather news. Rainy weather news. I called my friend who totally understood if I wanted to cancel – turns out she, too, has these rainy road issues. But no, I decided to be a grown-up and hit the road – rain or shine. Besides, while it was torrential up by the lake, it was just a little misty here at home.

So off we went, me and my baby boys. On the road again. Singing along to the always cheesy, yet somehow entertaining songs of my sons’ Music Together class disc. After we’d heard “We’re on the way to grandpa’s farm” in Spanish for the fourth time I noticed the rain coming down. Hard. No, make that really hard. I took a deep breath and soldiered on. I was a grown-up woman. A mother for Chrissakes. What if there was an emergency and it was raining? I wouldn’t drive? COME ON.

Well of course it was soon pouring. Cats ‘n dogs and every other animal from Abuelo’s bloody farm. And I was terrified. White-knuckled, jaw-clenched, might-just-lose-it terrified. I could barely see in front of me. Slowing to a crawl, I slid over to the right lane (my grandmother). I leaned forward, trying to peer over the steering wheel (my grandmother). And when cars whizzed past me leaving me, quite literally, in their wake, I cursed them. But not my usual potty mouthed swear words. Tame ones. Y’know, bastard. Idiot. Those kinds. The kind of words – you guessed it – my grandmother would use.

Of course when I looked in my rear view and could only see massive trucker headlight I truly lost my shit. Then the worst-case-scenarios began. And I’m pretty sure mine were far more brutal than anything my grandmother could dream up. Beyond the “what if I crash” and into “what if I crash and I can’t speak and someone abducts my kids” kind of nightmares.

God forbid poo poo poo.

Needless to say I made it there. And back. And, determined to be really brave I even drove home. In the dark. No way was I becoming some old lady about it. OK, and no way was I missing dinner. But I made it. And I’d do it all over again. Bring on the rain. Hard as you can. Moonless, foggy night? No problemo. Like my grandmother, I think I’ll be able to see more clearly… navigating from the passenger seat.

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