Chapter 2, The East Coast Mother-Son Odyssey

Eli and I leave on the first leg of our journey this morning. Six days with the Kirby Chamber Choir in Manhattan and then 10 days of touring colleges. It struck me yesterday that the 10 days of traveling, just Eli and I, will likely be the longest span of time we’ll spend alone together for the rest of our lives. What are the odds that he and I will ever take another long road trip together? Or a solo mother-son vacation? Not very likely.

I do wish Eli were a little older, that we were a little less locked into the roles of reluctant teenage son and boring, nagging mother. Right now, my conversation with Eli consists mostly of things like, “Eli, did you email Souvey so we can visit him at Northeastern?” “Did you take your vitamin C?” “What time am I picking you up?” and  “It’s your turn to empty the dishwasher.” Eli’s comments to me are generally monosyllabic when they occur at all, or they consist of things like. “I know, Mom!” a lot of eye-rolling, and proclamations like, “I said I wanted the Old Spice Fresh deodorant. Can you remember next time?” Or, “I need $25.00 for CCS.” Or, “We’re out of orange juice.”

These exchanges hardly count as conversation. Which leave me wondering, What will talk about all those long hours driving through unfamiliar places in New England? Will we even talk at all? Or will our whole trip be nothing more than a Zits cartoon cliché?

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