Last night my mom helped me shop for the Alaska trip. She’s good at that – shopping. In fact, when she retires, I think she should become a professional shopping assistant because she has this rare ability to make me try on clothes and shoes that I would never do on my own. Without her, I fumble with fog in my eyes through an entire store for an hour before declaring there is nothing there.
On the drive home from the store, she and I were laughing at the fact that my husband is slightly terrified that I will not only be fly fishing, but fishing in a river – with waders – and bears.
“He thinks that I’m going to fall and water is going to get in the waders and I’m going to be swept downstream. Then a bear will find me while I’m semi-conscience and decide that I taste better than all the fresh salmon in the river and consume me.”
“Just don’t get deeper than your knees and you’ll be fine.”
“I wasn’t planning on going over my ankles, never mind my knees! Now, Dad — that’s another story. You don’t think he’ll do anything foolish, will he?”
I saw my mother’s mouth open slightly, and then shut quickly. Her silence was not comforting and it prompted me to think of other times I have travelled with my father. Most of our trips have been supervised by my mother who tends to keep him on track. I have vivid memories of road trips – my dad driving and my mom navigating (i.e. barking orders). She has generally been the one to keep my dad on the straight and narrow and as a result, almost all trips have resulted in (mostly) safe returns.
Come to think of it, while I’ve travelled quite a bit with my mother throughout the years, I can only think of a handful of trips with my dad sans mom. The first trip I can remember was to Arizona when I was probably seven or eight. We were going out to celebrate Thanksgiving with my dad’s mother and the rest of the family who lived in Phoenix.
I can’t recall too much about that experience, except that I came home with a cat named Snowball. I can only imagine what was running through my mother’s mind when she picked us up at the airport and there I was – holding the travel case for a mewing creature. As an adult and a mother myself, all I can think is: Why? Why did my dad think it was a good idea to bring home a cat?
Thankfully, other trips did not result in the transporting of living creatures across state lines. Though, my dad and I did survive a swarm of mosquitoes in Minnesota, and we did drive on the wrong side of the road through London and live to tell the tale.
I think my favorite trip was when Dad came out to visit while I was studying abroad. He booked a bunch of B&Bs and we road tripped through Northern England and Scotlad. I don’t recall too many mishaps along the way. Then again, it’s pretty hard to get lost when there’s only one road. I do, however, recall how time took on its own quality. We got into the car and time bent as we admired the landscapes and sought out adventures.
So here I am – slightly baffled at the amount of boots, quick-dry material, and waterproofs I have accumulating in my suitcase. While I won’t be winning any style-awards on this trip, hopefully I’ll be able to keep up with my dad and his sense of wonder. After all, not too many people get to experience “Dad-Time.”