Tomorrow I head down to Massachusetts on a brief road trip with my eldest son. I think this may be our first trip alone since his toddlerhood, and it will surely be more pleasant than our earlier ones were. J was not fond of his car seat, nor was he amenable to sitting in the backseat by himself, nor was he lured by contemplative silence or comic radio songs or the hijinks of a plush Humpty Dumpty or a bottomless cup of apple juice or the soothing hum of the engine. After 45 minutes he was screaming, and then he kept it up for the next five hours. Traveling with J was a two-parent job, and it's a wonder we ever got anywhere.
Tomorrow will be so much better. We will swap off with the driving chore, and stop for coffee, and make ironic remarks about items for sale at the rest area, and order Vietnamese sandwiches in the backwaters of Portland, Maine. It's true that he still doesn't care for riding in the car, but at least now he lets the stereo do the screaming.
On Thursday at 7 p.m. I'll be reading at the Collected Poets Series, held at Mocha Maya's in Shelburne Falls, and then back I go to Maine, ready to haul Son Number 2 off to canoe camp and return Son Number 1 to paint scraping. But what's teenage summertime without a crappy job? Merely sleep.