My husband had to travel for work this week, and I didn’t like the thought of being left home so I contacted my sisters in Chicago to see if they were wanting some quality Wren time. Okey and I left very early yesterday morning. He headed down to the airport, and I started my drive. We chuckled knowing that he would land on the West Coast before I even approached the middle of the country.
Wren and I made it to our first stop on schedule. I was so proud of my little travel companion. She was doing so well; she was sleeping a lot. We took our time at our first rest stop in Ohio. We also took more time than we intended at our first rest stop.
As we returned to the car, I was juggling the baby, her diaper bag, the coffee and the car keys. I put the coffee down and tossed all but the baby onto the front seat. I shut the door. I heard a beep, the kind that indicates that the car is now locked. What?! I checked every door and the back hatch in vain. I looked hopelessly at my car keys and my wallet and my cell phone sitting on the front seat.
It was cold and blustery, and so back into the rest stop we went. The travel schedule was shattered. I started to worry about when we would arrive in Chicago, but I had to still focus on the task on hand: getting back into the car. The very nice man at the welcome desk called for the tow truck who patrols the toll road, and all we had to do was wait. While I berated myself for letting this happen. While my phone was in the car so I couldn’t even figuratively cry on my mother’s shoulders. While my $2 coffee was getting cold. While thanking God that Wren was still in my arms when the car decided to lock itself*.
I was also upset for not taking my car on this trip, which not only gets good gas mileage but has the feature which will not let itself lock if it senses the keys inside**.
We found ways to amuse ourselves before the tow truck arrived. Since all of the books were locked in the car, I had found a colorful zoo brochure which worked as a picture book. Wren also enjoyed waving as people were coming in, and then saying “buh-buh” as they were leaving.
Finally, the tow truck driver arrived and within a minute, we were back in business.
As we continued to Chicago, we encountered whiteout conditions. Visibility was incredibly low, and traffic was reduced to one lane. It continued to snow off and on until about 15 miles from the Illinois. I am very glad that Wren and I were in a vehicle with all wheel drive. And I can’t help but wonder if God had intervened back at the rest area, keeping us stranded before the initial snowfall and consequently out of harm’s way.
Wren was the perfect travelling companion. She was content to play with her Alix and Sammy dolls. She figured out the sippy cup last week, and that probably saved me some grief along the way. She let me know, though, about ten minutes from my sister’s house that this 10-hour road trip I promised her had turned into a 13-hour road trip. But once we got to my sister’s house, she was happy again. Happy to see her family and happy to be out of that confined space. Me, too.
*I was willing to admit possible human error even though I believed at the time I did not lock myself out. When we got to Chicago, the car decided to lock itself again. That time I had the keys in my hand.
** I have locked the keys inside my car, and the dealership was very confounded. Evidently, I had let the car’s 12-volt battery die at the same time as the key fob’s battery.