Thursday, June 21, 2007

Warning: Uneven Mood Ahead

[From 30,000 feet somewhere over the Midwest.] We left for the airport this morning to make our annual pilgrimage to California. Crash and Barnacle Boy are travel pros. They packed themselves (a single duffel between them), negotiated in-flight entertainment choices, and organized lunch and a snack. My only job is to take them shopping for the snacks (and this year briefing them about the new rules on liquids). Math Man is more last minute than my junior team. I knew this long before I married him - when I discovered him just starting to pack his clothes for a six week trip overseas a scant hour before he was due to leave.

The sun has just peaked over the horizon, the boys have put suitcases in the car and are ready for the traditional donut stop when Math Man notices that everyone else is grabbing lunches from the 'fridge. "I didn't make one. Should I?" "Only if you want to eat, Dad," the Boy shoots back. We are now behind schedule, which makes the Boy (and me) fret.

While this scene is playing out, Fluffy has been trying to engineer an escape. She's succeeded three times, and been ignominiously hauled back each time. I ask the boys to be sure that someone has Fluffy in hand before going in or out. Someone obliges while I take the trash out. As I come back in, I ask Math Man to be certain the cat is nowhere near the door. "No, she's not around." I open the door and out she flies. It was not our best marital moment. I follow the streaking ball of fluff into the backyard, fully expecting her to have vanished into the jungle before I can catch up. In what I'm attributing to a bonafide miracle, she turns around and leisurely strolls under the hydrangea. Captured!

We never did make the donut stop; the Boy was very grown-up about it, despite his general lack of flexibility around things traditional. As we neared the airport, we hit a patch of highway that is being prepped to be repaved. "Uneven moods ahead," mutters Math Man. "Excuse me?" "We could use a warning sign like that one. 'Warning: Uneven Moods'," he replies, indicating the bright orange Uneven Pavement signs decorating the side of the road. It's a good thing I've got a sense of humor!
The Boy was pleased we managed one traditional event - a visit to In-N-Out burger. Home of wonderful french fries...

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