The Fast Lane Towards the Future
I’ve gotten us lost and I’ve made us late and I can’t stop tearing up. A road trip to visit colleges brings up some big feelings.
Enzo’s in the driver’s seat. I’m next to him and his dad, “Dave,” is in the back, relaxing, reading a book. We are weaving in and out of the fast lane on our way to visit a college in L.A.
I planned ahead for this trip. I put in hours of researching, building a Google Map and printing out parking passes, scheduling several school visits per day and a trip to Disneyland in the middle to celebrate his last high school summer vacation. This morning, however, we were late to the first tour, since I had everything packed but my glasses…and we had to turn around and go back.
Without wifi, I can’t access the Google Map I made. We’re trying to use Waze to avoid heavy traffic. Leaving the first school, I program the name of the second into the car’s GPS, and between one road map and another, I soon manage to navigate us onto side streets where we go more than 7 miles per hour…but stop at every light. Now we’re late for the second school tour, too.
When we pull up in front of the building the car’s GPS brought us to, twenty minutes late for the tour, we are confused by our surroundings. Turns out the car found us a satellite campus. I look at the college map I printed out, which has no relation to this place we are in, and notice the address under the logo. I program that into the car instead, and we turn around and go back the way we came.
The breezy chatter we’d been enjoying all morning has stopped. My mind is now going in loops, bargaining with the executive misjudgments I’ve made in the last few hours. I’m wondering if it’s ADHD or anxiety or just this… this feeling that is welling up inside of me, subconsciously sabotaging my well-laid plans, this feeling that we are driving to what might be Enzo’s new home a year from now, far away from our family.
Tears are leaking out my eyes, and I want to hide them — except I lost my sunglasses two weeks ago.
I hold back my sobs, because I don’t want to distract Enzo from the amazing job he’s doing driving on this trip. He’s got his license now. He’s getting his life together. He’s less afraid of being on his own than he should be, knowing what I know about what he doesn’t know about the demanding world he’s growing into. He hasn’t noticed I’m taking notes at all these talks because he isn’t — because neither of us will remember all the details and dates of this crucial information. But I don’t want to shake his beautiful faith in himself.
We pull up to the right campus and see a group of students gathered around a fountain in the distance. I make Enzo pull over and jump out with his dad. Shaky, I get in the driver’s seat and go find a parking spot to have a little cry and pull myself together. Because somehow — and I don’t know how but it always does — this is all going to work out just right.