All Grown Up

By Shelah Miner

My kids and I recently got back from a long driving trip. A very long driving trip. We visited eleven states, five zoos, and put more than 3,000 miles on our minivan. Even though I’d be lying if I said the whole thing was fun (the 20-hour death-march from Minnesota to Texas on the last day was no Sunday drive), we managed to have a pretty darn good time. Although the kids bickered a lot, I hope that one day they’ll look back on playing “I’m going on a picnic” and the license plate game and “I Spy” with a certain degree of fondness.

In fact, the trip reminded me of many summers when my mom loaded up my younger brother and sister and me in our minivan and took off to visit all of our far-flung relatives. Looking back on those summer vacations, I remember a few things: reading until I could read no more, hiding Jilly’s Wee Sing tape when we couldn’t stand listening to it anymore, Ethan getting carsick and feeling extremely jealous that Jilly got her own bench in the minvan (before the day of captain’s chairs) when Ethan and I had to share. I realize now that my mom didn’t give Jilly her own bench because she favored her more or she wanted to keep her close, but because she would fight constantly with me or Ethan if she sat next to either of us.

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