On the road again

We leave tomorrow. It feels like we just got here. I tried to get caught up on sleep with a couple of naps but I still feel really groggy.

I did what I said I would, because that’s the kid of mom I am; I woke D up after he had only been asleep for an hour last night, and me and my sister and D and D’s cousin loaded into my car and drove over to a neighborhood where we could see some fireworks. We parked in this parking lot that seemed to have a good view, but some drunk guy came out of the apartment building next door almost immediately and asked us for money, so we left and went to another place closer to the actual park where the fireworks were to be. The traffic to get into the park was all jammed up, so when we saw people just sort of parking on some side streets, we just found a place and got out. I took a picture of the street sign since nobody knew where we were, and we hurried along in the dusk until we found a big hill with a lot of people hanging out.

We were completely unprepared. I lost my bug spray last week and didn’t even think about bringing a blanket or something to sit on; it was all kind of spontaneous. So we plopped down in the damp grass and the mosquitos set to making a big feast out of me; I think I have a couple dozen bites. And next to us, some couple was smoking while their toddler girl stomped around, coughing. I felt bad for the kid. My ass was getting wet and I had to hold my hood around my face to try to prevent the bugs from getting in my eyes.

But the wonder of that kid. “AWESOME!” he said, again and again as the lights boomed and sparkled overhead. BOOM! went a firecracker, and “BOOM!” yelled my son. “Oh, Mom, did you see that one?” And the labeling of the colors as they exploded! “Mom! Red and purple! Ooh! Orange!” “That’s my favorite!” “No wait, that one is!” We came right back to my sister’s after, and tucked into bed. “That was awesome, Mom,” he said, and kissed my hand in the dark, a rare sweetness from my rough and tumble boy.

We went to a farmers’ market today and I bought myself a couple of jars of really, really expensive but amazingly fantastic peanut butter. Nobody will eat it but me; the kid can’t take it to school and isn’t that hot about nut butters anyway, and the one jar is really, really spicy- Thai style, with cilantro and a real kick that lingers. They are mine, even if it takes me a year to eat them.

Back on the road tomorrow, after pancakes. We had bacon fried rice this morning, my son’s favorite dish that his uncle cooks, which he does expertly, being Chinese. But tomorrow, pancakes and sausage, and packing up and goodbyes. All of Illinois was 45mph because of construction so it will be a really long day. Maybe we will hit the hotel pool when we get there, to perk up a bit. We have to eat lunch on the road, which I am not looking forward to, but we will survive one bad meal. Maybe I will just eat my peanut butter. And then tomorrow night maybe we will get some stuff at whole foods and cook it in the room and watch TV. Back on the road Monday morning and home by afternoon.

It giggles a lot, this kid. He didn’t get any mosquito bites at all.

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