The entire trip home was spent in quiet contemplation, set to a music CD bought for my son to fall asleep to. In the back seat, he slept, snoring slightly with his bobble-head perched on one side of a nap cushion, precarious and angelic all in the same sigh. If only I could hold him and drive, and be safe in the complete contentment that would bring.
Nature noises punctuated the soft, tinkling melodies on the CD, sometimes causing me to turn down the volume and ensure it was indeed the music, and not my car making strange hereeping noises. Despite the trust I have in my car, I am conditioned by years of used vehicles making some sort of ping, tink, or squeal. No car is infallible, my anxiety says.
As fields, houses, and summer lushness passed by, I thanked my spontaneous decision to take back roads all the way home, and to obey all speed limit signs. The hurry left my bones as I turned away from the freeway, the nerves caused by timetables stilled as I slowed down and just drove, looking and exploring while my son blissfully slumbered behind me. The need to remind myself of all my to do list on a hourly basis faded into the distance in my rear view.
The tiny being strapped into a rocket seat sped along, oblivious to all but soft music and afternoon nap-bliss. He woke up from in a strange city, then resumed his repose as we climbed out of a valley and through a small town I had never had the chance to visit. I slowed to peer down driveways, ponder at old homes, and bite my lip at the most perfect of farms for sale, my imagination for the next few miles providing all kinds of fodder for plans and dreams. I turned up new streets, and explored some roads that I did not know where they went. GPS units need not apply, this was much more fulfilling.
My son snored through a deep curve where three farms sandwiched their barns and homes up in the apex of the triangle, their fields spreading like giant slices of pie behind them. I wanted to stop and take a picture, but with a cursory glance in the back seat, a happily napping child changed my mind. I wondered if the owners were all related, and indeed it was one big farm, with many farm houses.
As the CD ended, and I restarted the tracks to 1, I also felt the stress of the past two weeks finally leave. I have been to the beach, toured some beautiful countryside, napped, ate, visited, laughed, and shared…
Yet it took the drive home from my personal Eden, listening to a baby-lulla-bye CD to completely relax me, and prepare me for the week to come.