Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Drive Home

Landon and I are in Houston. It was an impromptu trip- a decision made on Thursday, finalized Friday morning, and acted upon late Friday night. I found out that one of my closest friends who I haven't seen in over a year was going to be in town visiting her parents, and I figured that if we were going to be with 200 miles from each other, I could make the effort to close that gap. And so I did. We spent a wonderful four hours together with her boyfriend and Sir Landon and I'm really glad I finally got to meet "her JP" (as she calls her guy). Landon and I will head back home tomorrow after church and a quick visit to my grandparent's house. My sister is coming by in the afternoon so that I can head to the office and finish up a project that is overwhelming my desk at the moment. JP has several group projects due this week so he is spending the two days by himself- we miss him but he has promised to make the most of his time (and not all by sleeping).

I did a lot of thinking during the three hour drive to my parent's house. I left after Landon's bed time so that he would sleep in the car. The radio was off. The road was dark. My mind was free to wander. I thought about all the times I've made this drive - to and from State swim meets in high school, to and from orientation, the many trips up and back during college. My first trip home was October of my freshman year when I brought JP home to meet my friends and see my childhood home. I told my best friend (the one I saw today, she's two years younger than me and was still in high school at the time) that I was going to marry him; we'd been dating for two months. I remember pulling up in the driveway in his SUV, the same one he drives today, and he turned to me and said, "Can't you picture us doing this in the future with our kids in the backseat?" And I could. I remember how much I looked forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas, coming home to visit as the child who was all grown-up and off at college on a swimming scholarship.

I only lived at home for half of one summer, so I did that 3-hour drive quite a bit, usually by myself, and it's funny to think of how my inner monologue has changed. For years it was all about medical school- from freaking out over the way organic chemistry had marred my perfect 4.0 GPA to secretly wondering if I really wanted to be a doctor. I planned my wedding in my head on those drives, thought about children, wondered what my future would bring. But even through all my life changes over the past seven years, I'm still me, and I think that maybe my inner thoughts haven't changed that much at all.

On this particular drive I spent a while being nostalgic about my childhood. I love my life right now, so it's really only a tribute to how wonderful my childhood was, but I would go back to age 5 in a second and do it all over again to come back to today. Elementary school, middle school, high school- every grade was my favorite. Sometimes I long for those days of fun and carefree living- swim meets, nights out with friends, family dinners. I hope Landon feels that way when he's older.

Then I wondered what I would change if I could change anything about my past. But while I've made mistakes and there's memories that make me cringe, I'm not sure there's anything I would actually change. There's a conversation or two I would do differently, there's definitely an email or three I'd like to rescind, but as far as major decision go, I can't say I'd change anything because all of that lead me to where I am now- with JP and the Landon who was sleeping in the back seat. I do wonder if I should have stuck with medical school, I wonder if I should have gone to New York or San Francisco for law school, I wonder if we should have spent a little more time "abroad" in the US before returning to Texas. But here we are, and it's too good of a place to spend more than a car ride wondering whether I could be someplace else.

And now I'm going to go upstairs to the room I slept in when I was five, back when my two-year-old sister slept next to me and we'd stay up past our bedtime giggling and pretending not to be afraid of the dark. I'll flip through my babybook, remind myself that I need to work on Landon's, and then fall asleep knowing my parents are downstairs and all is good and safe in my world for now. It's good to be home.


  1. This captures the way I feel about going home, too.

    I really love all your posts.

  2. This post is so beautiful! Lately I feel so nostalgic for my past and childhood- maybe it has something to do with being a mom. I dont usually wish I could relive my years but I do wish I could be a fly on the wall and watch!

  3. What a lovely piece of writing! So glad to find your blog. I can relate to so much of what you've shared here. Thank you for this wonderful post.