My sacrificial sister decided to drive my parents to their place in Arizona, because they were sick of the weather in Washington. She is the favorite child. My brother and I tease her about this fact, that she is the favorite child, but everyone knows it is really the truth. Laura is the child that lives the closest. Laura is the oldest. Laura would drop everything and come to their aide without a moments notice. Laura will offer to drive them to a different state.
Me? Ehhhhhhh. No, I'm kidding, I would. Honestly. Most days.
But Laura has given up her life to drive my parents 1500 miles. Approximately 23 hours in the car, with my parents, which is no small feat, but add in the fact that this morning she texted me that they were on their 3rd rest stop, and they had only been on the road for 2 hours. They hadn't made it out of their own state yet!
(I think I would go nuts! I mean once, when David lived in Ohio and the kids and I lived in North Carolina, we drove 9 hours to see David and only stopped after 7 hours of traveling because I thought that we should eat something besides fruit snacks and crackers and stretch our legs so we didn't throw a clot.)
Laura was freaking the other day when we talked about the upcoming trip. She claimed the last time she had driven anywhere with Mom and Dad was back when we used to drive from Washington to Colorado to visit my grandparents. Picture this...big Chevy Impala, three kids in the backseat, I either slept in the foot well or in the back window (I know, super safe, but it was the 70's) and my brother and sister played hours and hours of boardgames in the backseat. I don't know how far we would drive in a day, but I don't really recall too many hotels or rest stops. Jar peeing was common practice, or side of the road peeing with Mom holding the beach towel. Food was a jar of peanut butter and a loaf of bread.
Things have changed since then. Not only is Laura the driver, but regardless of where you are in your trip, five o'clock rolls around and the early bird special is callin'. No pushing through to get a few more miles under your belt. Only safe, Holiday Inn Express' and chain food joints. Everyone retires to their hotel room by 6:30, with their bellies full of Chicken Fried Steak or Pancake special, and falls into bed asleep, only to wake up, eat the free breakfast and get on the road by 8:00 am. Seat belts are essential. Multiple rest stops and doggie rest stops are required. Dad sleeps while pretending to listen to the book on tape. Mom knits and complains about Dad's sleeping.
We won't even mention the van my parents insisted on driving (smells like gasoline and Laura is convinced she will perish in a fiery death because there is so much Kerosene soot from Dad's garage debacle of 2010 on the tan interior you can't light a match).
So if you see a woman driving a young couple in their 70's and an evil Yorkie down I-5 give them a little leeway in their big rolling turd of a van, and say a prayer for Laura's sanity.