Driving Home

A short time later Kate sat with Sarah in the lobby while Spencer loaded the car. Kate pulled Sarah’s coat around her and zipped it up. The weather was still cooler for this time of year but at least it wasn’t snowing. The sun shone through scattered clouds, but did little to warm the temperature.

They should arrive a couple hours past dinner this evening after stops for meals and diaper changes. Kate double checked the diaper bag for necessities. She didn’t like using the changing tables in public places, not knowing how sanitary they were or weren’t. But she had no choice.

Spencer came back in and they walked out to the car. Kate strapped Sarah in and they were on their way. It was a few minutes before Kate noticed Spencer changed the radio to a classical station. When she mentioned it, Spencer replied, “One hour of classical for every two of my choice.”

“I can deal with that.” Kate grinned as she adjusted her seatbelt. Score one for her. She was glad they were on the final leg of this nightmare and hoped it wasn’t as adventurous as the beginning.

Kate took out a notepad and pen from her purse and started jotting down all the things she had to do when she and Sarah got back home. She thought about her daily routine and what she needed to do differently to accommodate a little person. There were things she had to put up high, things she had to put down low, and other things she hadn’t thought of she was sure. In her thoughts, she prayed for God’s help. She would definitely need it.

“What’s that?” Spencer pointed to her writing.

“A list of things I have to do when I get home.” Kate tapped the pad with her pen.

“Like?”

“Put up the plants… move Button’s food… lower the towel racks in the bathroom… add a non-slip mat to the tub…plug the outlets…put a safety lock on the medicine cabinet–”

“I see. And buy tofu, hummus, and seaweed?” Spencer joked.

“Very funny. McDonald’s is not exactly the healthiest fare, you know.”

“I know. It’s one of those things you do only rarely, like when traveling with children.”

“I’m not sure it will be rarely in my case.”

“Still. But we can do Subway or Panera Bread if we can find one before getting to St. Louis.”

“Either of those would be fine. Thank you.”

Spencer let Kate get back to her list and let his thoughts wander as he heard notes of Bach, Beethoven and Tchaikovsky playing in the car. He tried to deny the thoughts that were floating through his mind. To anybody on the street, they looked like a normal family in his car, taking a family trip. He so longed for it to be true. But he knew Kate wasn’t ready. She still needed time to grieve, and now time to adjust as new mother and getting to know Sarah. Spencer thought Sarah was cute, with her curly blond hair and tiny round nose. He caught himself peeking at her often in the mirror as he drove.

His car had been overtaken with pink stuff. Pink car seat, pink diaper bag, pink clothes in pink tote bags, pink blanket around Sarah who was wearing a coat…in pink.

Sarah was pretty quiet so far, probably because she was with total strangers and didn’t know what to talk about. Kate asked her a few questions, trying to get her to talk, but she didn’t really answer.

Spencer tried not to worry about Kate and Sarah, but they both seemed to be exhausted. He could understand the emotions of being thrown together and for Sarah’s change of residence and care-giver, but he wasn’t sure emotional exhaustion was the only thing Kate was tired from. He always thought she was a force to be reckoned with. Now she seemed more like a wilting flower. After her list making, she had gone to sleep against the car window.

****

Until next time,

Michelle

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