I'm back! And I have so much... I'm not sure if I'll just plonk it all down in one post or not. We'll see how far I get before I keel over. Sufficed to say, there are no singular words that might quantify our trip appropriately. It'll take lots of words.

Day 1 - Bags packed; snacks, drinks, pillows, blankets, and CDs - all in the truck and ready to go. We left at nine in the evening, so the spawnlings would (hopefully) sleep through the majority of the drive. Or maybe I just didn't want to miss House. Or maybe the idea of two spawnlings, in close proximity, arguing for fourteen hours straight was a little scary so I dragged my feet. Either way, we left late.

First stop - Starbucks. It's a necessity. Trust me. Entering into any sort of long distance drive without coffee? My spawn run the risk of being left on the side of the road at some point. Self-medication is a good thing and makes all the difference between me being capable of functional diplomacy or simply morphing into Little Hitler and breaking out the duct tape. Yeah, most prefer the functional diplomacy (and I don't blame them).

Drive Highlights and Lessons:
Highlight #1 - Being pulled over and getting a speeding ticket within one hour of leaving home. (Mr. Clean still insists that he was going downhill)
Lesson #1 - No matter how far we turned up Nickelback, Doodlebug could still drown out the music with his snoring.
Lesson #2 - If you leave late enough and you've run your spawnlings ragged beforehand, they will actually sleep so deeply as to allow Sibling Skin Contact (or in this case... blanket contact, which is close enough).

Lesson #3 - Either don't allow fried chicken for dinner before you leave or learn to love having the windows down when traveling with three males.
Highlight #2 - Farting is funny, especially when you have spawnlings sleeping in the back seat head to butt. It is not funny, however, when one's head is on Mom's pillow.
Highlight #3 - Waffle House, where you can get your hash browns: Scattered, Covered, Chunked, Topped, Diced, Peppered, and Capped. Yum!

Day 2 - We hit Atlanta, GA during the noon Day-Before-Thanksgiving-Traffic-Crawl. Yay! The loop was like a wandering parking lot, but that was okay because we were in the home stretch and there is nothing like that home stretch feeling.

I popped in a new CD and mentioned to Mr. Clean that a little traffic was a small price to pay for a largely uneventful trip (a new concept for traveling with spawn). For the first time ever, our spawnlings did not fight ONCE. Miraculous. Or drugs. I'm not telling.

"Plus," I told him, "we're only two exits and maybe twenty minutes from Aunt Silly's house." He laughed, agreed, and then slowed to a stop when the next momentary parking lot appeared.

Ten seconds later, I found myself trying to reconcile that the sickening, screeching crunch of metal ringing in my ears and the underside of a car, reflected from behind us in my side view mirror, were somehow connected.

I turned to the back seat and frantically asked the boys if they were okay. Their eyes were wider than I ever thought possible and their lower lips were quivering. "What happened?" they asked. Except, damned if I knew.

Mr. Clean made his way through the traffic that could care less to get to the side and then got out to check on the other driver (or to pummel his face in, I'm not sure which... though I was quickly getting geared up for the latter). I called my Aunt, who spent the next few minutes calming me down so I wouldn't go smack the guy. I really, really wanted to smack him. Mama Bear had taken over the controls and my normally voracious vocabulary turned to grunts and growls. And who dared incite the wrath of Mama Bear?

A 20-year-old-kid who apparently had not yet figured out where the brake pedal was located before opting to drive on a freeway during noon-time traffic. We were at a dead stop. He hit us going fifty-plus. Two! Exits! Away!

And also? I hereby bear witness that a Toyota Camry hitting an F250 crew cab at fifty-plus is rather like hitting a brick wall. Thank God. Thank Fate. Thank Ford. Thank whoever needs thanking, for keeping my kids safe, whole, and uninjured.

We now call the truck "Jenny" -- because she kicks like a mule.

For the next hour two paramedics with questionable senses of humor and a flat bed wrecker who carried around comic strip calendars (so my kids could mark the day they got plowed into... Seriously. He said that.), entertained us. Then, my Aunt Silly arrived to take us to the Ford dealership (where our truck was headed).

The dealership was awesome. They even seemed to thoroughly enjoy entertaining about a third of my family for the next four hours, while we sorted out all the insurance crap. I call it crap only because of the time it involved. That crap is paying to ship my truck back home to Texas and have it fixed. It's also paying for a rental until my baby is returned to me, hopefully before Christmas.

I still want to wring that kid's neck (while hoping, at the same time, that his neck is okay). He's certainly not going to forget Jenny any time soon. I do, however, suggest he learn his pedals before venturing out again. Not that he'll be driving any time soon... his car was totaled. As best we could figure out, he hit us with his left front end and then his car traveled up over our tire, effectively flipping his car. They had to scoop it, and all its various parts (minus those which ended up in the bed of my truck) up onto the flat bed. I told ya she kicks like a mule.

Okay, I'm pooped. The rest to come later.

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1 Response
  1. Deb R Says:

    I'm glad you're all ok.