Thursday, March 17, 2011

Taking Care of Mom

Earlier this week the boys and I took a little trip with my family. Trey couldn't go because he had to work Monday and Tuesday, but he encouraged us to enjoy our spring break and have a good time. I certainly didn't love the idea of going without Trey (face it - everything is better when he's around), but I decided I'm a real-live grown up who can drive the kids to Lake Conroe to hang out for a few days all by myself. It's too bad my boys didn't have so much confidence in me. 

I meant to get gas at HEB before we left town, but the air conditioner in my car works only sporadically and I was so intent on figuring out how to trick the air conditioner into working that I forgot to stop. As we drove down highway 6 the ensuing car talk went something like this:

Me: Aw, man, I forgot to get gas as HEB.
Tucker: Should we turn around?
Me: No, we can get gas later.
Keaton: I think we should turn around, Mom. 
Me: It's fine. We'll just get gas in Navasota.
Tucker: Do we have enough gas to get to Navasota?
Me: Yes.
Keaton: How many miles is it to Navasota?
Me: Like 16, I think.
Keaton: We should turn around and go to HEB for gas.
Tucker: Maybe not. We should calculate it. How many gallons of gas do you have left, Mom?
Me: enough to get to Navasota.
Tucker: Are you sure?
Me: Yes. I am certain. My light hasn't even come on yet. I can go like 50 more miles. I've been driving for almost 20 years. I know I can make it Navasota to get gas!

This brought a few moments of silence while they no doubt pondered my driving expertise and whether or not I am a good judge of how much gas is in my car. Then it started again.

Tucker: Which gas station will you stop at in Navasota?
Me: The Hi-Ho. At least it used to be Hi-Ho. It might be something else now.
Keaton: Are you sure it's still there?
Me: Yes. I'm absolutely certain! It's a Shell station on 105. Look, we're exiting now.
Tucker: Mom. I only see a Texaco and you're about to pass it.
Me: The Shell is on the other side of the highway. I know what I'm doing!

Finally, the Hi-Ho Shell station came into sight and I pulled in to get gas. I answered several questions about how much gas I chose to get and how far we could drive on that and whether or not we would need to get more gas on our 45 mile trip. I got back into the car and headed down 105.

Keaton (alarmed): Mom!  You're on the wrong road!  We were going on that road over there!
Me: We turned. We have to go on THIS road to get to Lake Conroe.
Tucker: Are you sure?
Keaton: Should we call Dad?

And, in defeat, I just ignored them.

I realized a several things that day.

One, the kids have us figured out. Trey always knows what he's doing and often I just choose to wing it, and our kids are well aware of these differences. I think they may prefer less of my "winging it" and more of his "knowing what on earth is going on."

Second, my boys think I need to be taken care of. I certainly understand that on some level it's a little insulting, and I have laughed a lot about an eight year old and a five year old giving me driving advice like they've been doing it for years. But they seemed so grown up just trying to make sure Mom had it together. I hope they are always so willing to take care of their crazy old mom.

Third, trips without Trey, even if they include fishing and games and family and a great book, just aren't as fun. 

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