Day Sixteen: Morning
I'm not usually a big fan of mornings, only because they come too early in the day, but I have to acknowledge that the mornings I've spent on road trips have been some of the finest hours of my life. There's something enchanting about getting up while it's still dark, piling the kids into the car, and watching the sun rise in your rearview mirror. There's little or no traffic at that hour, so the road ahead of you lies open as you travel toward new sights to see, new adventures to unfold.
The kids, naturally, fall back asleep as soon as the car begins moving. It'll be a while before you'll need to mediate disputes about who's touching whom, who's intentionally putting one foot over the unmarked halfway line of the seat, or who won't stop looking at whom. For the time being, the silence is broken only by the sound of the tires singing on the pavement.
A couple of hours later the sun is above the tree line, and the workers of the world are arriving at their jobs. It's a good time to stop for breakfast; the kids are awake now and they're hungry. If you're passing through a town, you begin to salivate at the thought of a pecan waffle at the local Waffle House. If you're on the outskirts, you look for a truck stop, where you're pretty sure you'll find thick, fluffy biscuits served with peppery white gravy on the menu. Whatever you choose, there'll be bacon on the side and cold, fresh orange juice. You pull into the parking lot, brush the kids' hair, open the paper bag at your feet and pull out the Baggie containing the wet washcloth to wipe the sleep from their eyes, then you walk single file across the parking lot, following the smell of food.
Back in the car forty-five minutes later, on the road again, everyone is full, happy, and ready to ride. You'll all be tired and snippy by the end of the day's travels, but you don't think about that now. Now, in the full glory of morning, all your thoughts are on the bright, blue sky, the changing scenery you pass, the next curve in the road, and the miles and miles of possibilities that stretch out in front of you.
Mornings like that? Those, I like.