A while back I decided driving across country with my Mom and Grandmother was a fabulous idea. My grandmother will be 86 this year, and I thought spending time with her and my Mom would be a great bonding experience.
That's funny, because my relationship with my mother can at times be tumultuous. We've been planning for months, and despite the thousand miles that separate her in Florida from me in Washington DC -- she's already been making me a little nutty.
Don't get me wrong ... I LOVE my mother. She's one of the best people I know. And I know she thinks an awful lot of me. It's just, well -- weird. Usually the first few days are blissful, but then things take a turn. I'm certainly not blaming it on her. I am a pain in the ass. I know it. I admit it. I own it. But I suppose I wish we had an easier time relating. In a way, that's a big part of what this trip is about.
If we don't kill each other, we'll only cross the finish line closer ... right?
Thankful, my BFF Dana has kept me relatively sane the past few weeks as things got really hectic with the final throes and all. Those moments where -- despite insisting we scrimp and pinch -- Mom suggests a $30 hotel in Vegas, but then wants to splurge on a Hampton Inn in Pensacola. Why? Because she's heard the beds are comfortable and wants to try them out. Somehow, as I would hang up the phone ... nerves sizzling -- Dana would call at just the right time.
And now here I am ... in Florida. Packing the car with the girls in a downpour.
As we begin to argue about what goes and what stays, which cooler to take, and whether or not we need the four shammys taking up space in the trunk -- we somehow find a bit of common ground. Grandma insists we bring duct tape, three coolers and an airline blanket. We start teasing her about whether she should bring canned goods for the trip. Looking in the cupboards here, you'd think she collects them. Mom suggests we pack enough to sustain a family of six for twelve days. I add that if the second coming of Christ coincided with the trip, we'd be saved. Then I could change the name of the book to ... "How My Grandmother's Canned Goods Saved Us During the Armageddon." I laughed so hard I cried. Mom laughed so hard she almost peed her pants.
Somehow I'm reassured. I have hope that this one little moment of camaraderie will set the tone for the voyage on which we will soon embark.
And maybe the future.