Traveling with just one child simply amazing
Last week I went to Dallas, Texas, for Blissdom, a blogging conference. Everytime I leave to go on a business trip my girls beg to go with me.
I look forward to the day when they really can travel with me and I will be able to give them my car keys and turn them loose in whichever city I’m visiting.
But, for now it’s simply not possible unless I take a babysitter. My husband, Zeb, and I lived in Fort Worth for the first two years of our marriage, but each subsequent move took us closer and closer to the Atlantic Ocean. As we moved further away from Texas, we started having babies and going back to visit was never feasible.
I was beyond excited to go back to Texas after 13 years and even more excited that because we have family close by, Aubrey, my 8-year-old, could travel with me and stay with her cousins while I was at my conference.
During the drive to Texas, I told Aubrey stories about the early days of our marriage.
“Did you know that right after I met your Daddy, I rode on the back of his Harley all the way from Fort Worth to Shuggie’s house in Alabama?”
Her jaw dropped. “Momma that is so far. Weren’t you scared?”
I grinned, “No, I was too busy being in luuuuuv.”
Her brow furrowed, “With who?”
I laughed out loud, “With your daddy! Who do you think? I wasn’t scared - all I was thinking about is that I got to wrap my arms around him for 12 hours.”
Aubrey kicked her legs and made sounds of disgust, “Ew. Gross.”
“Oh, please. You need to be glad that your parents are in love.”
We stopped for lunch and ate outside, taking our time, talking about anything we wanted to with no rush to get anywhere. I love having three daughters, especially having them as close together as they are. They are the best of friends (at times), but because they are the same sex and so close in age, it can often make it a little difficult to spend one-on-one time with them.
It may be my own issue, but in my mind I think that if we had a boy or two it would somehow be easier to justify singling them out for alone time — Zeb would take the boys to do boy things and I would take the girl or girls to do girl things.
I’m sure it’s not that simple but I still feel guilty taking one of my daughters to do something and not including the other two. As it is, I suppose we will just have to take turns with the travel for now, but it was really nice to be able to spend hours of uninterrupted time with just Aubrey.
She made up “Knock Knock” jokes, told me stories about school and read “Little House in the Big Woods,” which caused her to wonder how long it would take a covered wagon to drive from Greenwood, Miss., to Fort Worth, Texas.
We asked Siri but she was stumped — lest you get the wrong idea and think that we spent the entire drive engrossed in deep and meaningful communication you should also know Aubrey crushed the high score on Temple Run and Subway Surfer on my iPad while I listened to a podcast on my phone.
But we also held hands, shared a Coke and turned the music up as loud as it would go and sang at the top of our lungs.
I gave Aubrey control of the music on my phone and we were singing Bruno Mars “Just the Way You Are” as loud as we could:
“But every time she asks me “Do I look okay?” I say,
“When I see your face
There’s not a thing that I would change,
‘Cause you’re amazing
Just the way you are
And when you smile
The whole world stops and stares for a while
‘Cause girl you’re amazing
Just the way you are…”
As the song came to a close Aubrey smiled and said, “I bet that’s what Daddy thought when you were on his motorcyle.” She giggled, “I think maybe he thinks that now, too.”
I took a deep breath, mentally taking notes of the moment — it seemed so precious and fleeting I didn’t want to miss a second. Then I smiled and said, “Yeah, but that’s also how I feel about you.”
She beamed at me, grabbed my iPhone to choose another song and and we drove on.
Robin O’Bryant is an author, humorist and speaker. Her latest book is “Ketchup is a Vegetable and Other Lies Moms Tell Themselves.” Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter and visit her blog at www.robinschicks.com.