Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: ROAD TRIP (vacation) (07/02/15)
- TITLE: Close Quarters
By Deborah Engle
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
ADD TO MY FAVORITES
“Ronald Matthew! Your brother’s face is not a racetrack! Hand over the Hot Wheels – all of them.” Taking another look at the red tracks crisscrossing Dougy’s face, I could only hope they would be gone before we had to get out of the car.
Unperturbed, my husband Tom drove on, his ear buds isolating him from all the commotion. After two hours in our small 5-seater sedan, the handful of tiny cars joined the already confiscated harmonica, markers, rubber bands, and paper airplanes the boys considered appropriate playthings for a three hour car trip. Shooting a scowl towards my oblivious partner, I decided it was a good time to pull out my secret stash.
“Here, read these Family Circus books.” I passed the box full of paperbacks over the seat, and the boys claimed their favorites with a minimum of squabbling. Quiet I could trust finally reigned, and I settled in to enjoy the ride. The sky was a glorious, intense blue, with pristine, billowy white clouds scattered here and there. The sparse holiday traffic flowed without a hitch, and I wondered why we didn’t do this more often.
“What a marvelous day for a-”
“Ow!” Sammy’s timid voice complained. “Stop pinching.”
My eyes shot up to the rearview mirror. “Dougy! Why would you pinch your brother?”
“Cuz Ronnie pinched me and told me to pass it on,” he answered, trying not to grin.
A quick look at Ronnie revealed only a cherubic little boy engrossed in his book.
“Hmm. You guys behave yourselves.” I looked away, but snuck a quick look over my shoulder in time to see a retaliatory pinch being passed back to Ronnie. Recognizing the instigator for who he was, I used my executive privilege as Mom to pretend I hadn’t seen a thing.
Sammy, however, had seen something out his window that got all the boys’ attention.
“Cool!” It’s a motocross race. “Wow!” Look at how many there are.” “Look at the leader. He’s flyin’!” “He’s airborne!” “Can we stop, Dad?” “Can we do that?”
Once the motocross park was out of sight, the boys settled back to their books, but Ronnie’s was missing.
“All right, Doug! Give it back!”
“No way. You stole it from me.”
Ronny grabbed for the book, but Dougy tossed it behind him to Sammy, who promptly slipped it behind his back and made a face at Ronny. Ronny reached across Doug and grabbed Sammy’s arm, then Dougy planted his hand in Ronny’s face, “encouraging” him to retreat.
“That’s enough! Everybody quiet!” After directing my Mad Mommy glare at each of them, I demanded all of the books back. “Everyone sit on your hands. And no talking!”
It always surprised me that the boys so easily submitted to my silly, unorthodox, last-ditch effort to control their mischief, but it always did the trick. It was a funny sight, though, and I turned myself back around before they could see my smile. The quiet sounded good to my ears, and I had hopes that the calm would last.
Until I took a casual glance in the mirror.
Determined and ever resourceful, Ronny had discovered that the close quarters of the back seat made it possible to deliver a sharp elbow-jab to his nearest brother without freeing his hands from their prison.
I truly believe at that point, I could feel my hair turning gray. Before I could respond, Tom turned the car off the road and pulled to a stop. He got out, removing his ear buds at the same time. After a good stretch he announced, “We’re here. All you sleepy-heads wake up and get out of the car.”
Amazed, my mouth fell open and I stared at my sweet husband. And, yes, he really is sweet. My words, though, were definitely not . “Sleepy-heads? Are you kidding me? Do you really not know what was going on back there?”
I don’t know many things, but this one thing I know. Before we leave, I will have my own set of those ear buds.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
Accept Jesus as Your Lord and Savior Right Now - CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.