My oldest son Owen is out for Spring Break next week. We took him out of school a little early today and hit the road for the 500 mile trek to Grandma's house. We survived. We made it. It was a long eight hours. I think Owen must has asked, "How many more minutes?" at least 100 times. At one point as we were driving down Interstate 75 he looks out the window and in the cutest voice ever says, "Florida is so lovely". I have no idea where he gets this from.
It's very strange coming back to this part of the country. When I was 13 my parents moved from a suburb of Atlanta to a small suburb of Tampa, Florida. I spent five trans-formative years in this small town. During my three years in college I was back here often. I can remember a time when every neighborhood housed a friend, every restaurant represented a date and every store had a memory. So much of my adolescences was spent roaming the streets of this small town. The person I was and the memories I made are both faded. It's amazing how removed I feel from those times and this town now.
This town holds a lot of meaning to me. I fell in love with my husband as a naive teenager roaming these streets. I can still picture us roaming around in his mother's Maita, top down, stereo blasting Chemical Brothers or Less Than Jake or U2. I felt like we could take on anything and nothing mattered but being young and crazy in love.
Now, all these years later, I'm back here with my own two children. I've lived in Atlanta longer then I lived here but a small part of me still thinks of this place as home. I suppose a small part of me will always long for good old days of being so free. As you get older life starts getting in the way too much. You can't just take off at a moments notice to drive across the state. Now there are children to worry about and how much money are we going to budget for this impromptu trip and I've had a really hard week at work and am tired and don't know if I even want to leave the house for an adventure.
Suddenly I feel so old. I suppose that's what coming back home with your growing kids and a corporate job and a mortgage will do to you. An eight hour car drive where I am trying desperately to ignore the children is at least good for some introspective thinking, right?