Spring break is wrapping up in my corner of the world and while those lucky bastards still venturing off to warmer clients, oblivious to the fact their 529s won’t buy books, I took my soon to be 17-year-old daughter college hunting in the sort-of, kind-of, mid-west. Or rather, what Nor’ Easterners call mid-west. Ohio and Pennsylvania.
According to Yahoo Maps, it was 21.45 hours of actual drive time, round trip. Not including traffic, Amish buggies, fog, speeding tickets or the actual college tours, hotels, bagels, pit stops and info sessions. Days, we’re talking days, trapped in the car with a menopausal mom and hormonal teen. I’m here to tell you I survived. Her too.
The tap-tap-texting was minimal, partly due to forgotten charger, and her ears were naked of the your-music-sucks plugs. Eye rolling kept to a minimum and only one, count ’em one, major blow up (embarrassed when tour guide bragged of guest speaker Ann Coulter and upcoming visit from Karl Rove, and appalled, I asked what exactly is the student population’s reaction, ‘cuz we can cut this tour short right now and we did.)
We talked books, politics, music, drugs and sex. She answered questions. She asked few.
She shared, ever so briefly, some teen angst, mean girl gossip, a crazy mom story, a mention of cute boy or two, and a little apprehension of traveling so far away. Priceless. Not only did we survive, I found myself wishing for traffic. I got glimpses of the kid she used to be and the woman she’s becoming.
Believe you me, that in the 3 days of one-on-one, all this introspection added up to a generous 13 and a half minutes, but I’ll take it. I’m holding on tightly to these moments because before I know it, we’ll be making that trip one-way with her, and the return trip alone.