October 26, 2014

Visit {31 Days of Five-Minute Free Writes}

In the hot, sticky days before school began again, the children fussed—the tiny angelic one, the two elementary-aged siblings, the teenager. And I, aunt and sister to them, fussed too, though I was in the early years of my twenties. We were restless, tired of each other, outraged at the smallest inconveniences and ready to argue for any cause. The strangling heat forced us to stay indoors in one another’s company. And so the bickering went on. It went on until I could bear it no more.

With no plan but an exasperated desire to interrupt the arguing, if only for a little while, I ordered everyone outdoors. My mind raced for ideas even as I directed them into the Missymobile (my old faithful car had been dubbed this by neighborhood kids) and told them to buckle their seatbelts, fastening in the toddler's bulky child seat.

I drove and drove; we rode and rode. Irritated but compliant children stared out the windows in begrudging silence. We found ourselves on dirt and paved roads that stretched out eternally, rippling in the heat. They seemed to lead nowhere. Behind the wheel, I myself didn’t know where we were going until we were almost there.

Far out in the country, past fields of crops, down a snaking, sandy road, we pulled into the grass driveway of a widow from our church congregation. “We’re here for a visit,” I told the carfull. On seeing the surprising troop of all ages that appeared on her doorstep, the older lady seemed delighted. We greeted her awkwardly. She ushered us in and sat us down at her kitchen table before we knew what was happening. Debbie Cakes and orange sodas sprang up before us faster than we could politely consume them.

I don’t remember what we talked about around that table. We weren’t there long before we piled back into the Missymobile with a more amiable quiet between us. All I know is that in a warm little kitchen on a miserable day, a visit with a hospitable older lady offered perspective, pulled us outside of our own troubles, and reconnected five selfish children with each other and the world.

This post is part of 31 Days of Five-Minute Free Writes, an exercise in writing a timed, prompted post every day during the month of October. For me, it's a challenge to move beyond prideful perfectionism, to write more freely, and to share more openly. 

1 comment:

  1. Oh how I love this! With 5 grandchildren sometimes togetherness calls for extreme measures. Beautifully written.