Ave has been away at Chorus Camp- which is a little like camp and alot like music school for a couple days and I made the 3+ hour drive there tonight to pick her up between the short window of 8:30-9pm when evening activities end and bed time for her level. I was lucky enough to arrive in time for 'nightsing' which, in the twilight, in the middle of absolutely nowhere, was pure magic. If it did nothing else, it affirmed for me that regardless of what Ave decides to do with music now or in the future- all the driving, waiting, rehearsals, chaperoning, performances, etc... it was all worth it for that 10 minutes of hearing the angels sing. I know it sounds goofy, but it was crazily amazing.
Now I am home and can't sleep. Ave and Vi both napped in the car. Dean was sleeping when I got home. Ave barely batted an eyelash as I got her into pjs and bed. Dean was awake for the ten minutes or so it took to secure the kids from the car to the house and was back snoring as if he planned to sleep through armageddon.
There was a ton of construction along 101 as we drove back and I missed the exit to the bridge I needed to take, had to turn around and go back. A highway patrol car was blocking my last-chance exit and had those 'go around me' arrows on- so I did. For the record, I was only half on the shoulder. Well, the officer jumped out in front of my car, yelling. I very politely did not run her over and rolled my window down. I was totally confused. She explained in a very pissed off manner that she was giving *that* guy a ticket for exactly what I was doing. "The shoulder is not for driving on!! The shoulder is not for passing!!" Seriously? In the middle of merging 4 lanes down to 1, officer not-so-friendly decides to pull someone over in the middle of the freaking road, blocks the exit and then bitches me out for driving on the shoulder? WHAT?? Then she yells at me, "OH AND DON'T GIVE ME THAT DISGUSTED LOOK." Brilliant. Sorry, that was not my disgusted look, ma'am, that was my I've-been-driving-for-four-and-a-half-hours-straight-and-missed-my-exit-and-my-bridge-am-lost-and-confused-and-now-someone-is-yelling-at-me look. Vi then put it all in perspective and said, "Mom, I think she must have had a really bad day." Clearly. But it reminded me that I had children in the car and picking a fight with an officer of the law was absolutely not something I'd ever want to do, period, let alone in front of my kids. Plus, looking around at the traffic jam and all the impatient, entitled drivers- one might guess that Officer Not-So-Friendly was either coming to the end of a very bad day or just beginning one. So I sucked it up, said, "Yes, ma'am" and rolled my window up and waited for *that* guy to proceed and her to follow before returning my car to the middle of the road.
I could not resist giving the guy behind me, who honked like 50 times, the finger. I hope she pulls him over next.
Of course, I had to pee(pretty much from about 2 hours from home) but didn't want to stop cause there is no way I'm leaving my kids in the car at a gas station or wherever at 11pm- yet, couldn't quite bring myself to rouse them to go into some nasty, flourescent-lighted roadside bathroom. I also felt a bit nauseated at the thought of using said public toilet, but maybe it was really nausea from od-ing on caffeine, chewing through three 30oz cups of crushed ice, and the subsequent backing up of urine from my bursting bladder into my overworked kidneys. What I do know is that I left both kids in the car, ran into the house, yelled at Dean as I ran by the living room to get the kids in, and then made it with seconds to spare to the hall bathroom.
Cannot chew ice and drink diet coke in massive quantities on 5-6 hour car rides with only one stop in the middle. I learned my lesson. Boy howdy.
Why did I go get Ave? Tomorrow is the championship for our swim league and Ave is in all the 'A' relays. The team we're(and trust me, it is a family sport with all the volunteer hours we put in to meets and driving back and forth every day to practices and all the homework we do with the girls in our community pool) on has won the championship the past 10 years running but I think 10 might have been the magic number- guess we'll see tomorrow. Anyhow, Ave will be returning to Chorus Camp tomorrow night after the championships which means a very brief trip with lots and lots of driving for mom- but hey, that's my job, right? right.
The fact that we have to get up in just a few hours is not lending itself to me getting myself sleepy. I was sleepy enough at one point in the car. Maybe I should try to sleep out there. Hmm. Anyhow, sucks when everyone else is asleep except the cat(who keeps trying to engage me in her midnight romping) and Dean's computer that keeps automatically rebooting(I would kill the thing but not sure how screwed Dean would be- if at all- if I pulled the battery out of his work machine). I could take some benadryl but then I always have weird dreams. I could take something stronger but then I'll still be in bed at noon tomorrow while everyone else is at the meet. Hey... now that's an idea!
I haven't been sleeping well at all lately. I kind of have that whole days-and-nights-reversed thing going on but at least I've been productive. I've been refinishing furniture like some crazed carpenter. I wonder what will happen when I run out of furniture to refinish? The kids keep asking if I'll spray paint the cat aqua or silver. Sorry, not quite THAT crazy just yet, kids, but stay tuned!