It was one of those family trips planned and worried over months in advance. We were in the final frantic moments before departing. Secured the house. Water turned off, lights off, back door locked, maps in hand, and the house in good order. As my wife Bobbi and I headed to the front door laden down with all the last minute items, she stopped and said, " Anyone need the toilet, We are not stopping until my bladder says we stop."
I mumble something about being all set. We both turn around to look back to the stairs up to the bedrooms as Lis, our rugged 5 year old, comes barreling down the stairs. "Elisabeth", she hollers," Let's go and please check to see if you need the bathroom." Lis stopped at my wife's words like she hit a wall. A blank faraway look came over her face. Standing stock still, she just stared through us like we weren't there. After what seemed an eternity, Bobbi says, "Lis, what are you doing?"
Lis snapped out of her daze and disgustly replied, " I'm checking." The self induced stress of beginning a long trip melted away. My wife and I laughed for the first 200 miles.
This memory came to me out of the blue today. It's been 18 or so years since we made that trip. It still rates a top five childhood memory of my sweet daughter's rise to adulthood. It was one of those unplanned moments a parent enjoys for many years after and reinforces the joy of parenthood.