Wet Gloves, Grievances, Blessings.

It’s been awhile since I did a carpool or handoff along the road — once a mainstay of my life. Seems like I spent hours of motherhood waiting at some designated place. I leave early to have this little pocket of time, a few minutes, no more, to watch the sky darken. I bring a book, too, more out of habit than anything else.

Vermont highways are lonely and busy, with stretches of time where you can walk down the center line, and then times when you risk your life (actually) to walk those yellow strips. The girls are laughing when they arrive. I hand over my daughter’s gloves, warm from my car heater as I tried to dry out the wet remains of yesterday’s skiing. I stand talking, shivering in my sweater. I’m sweaty from skiing, and I’ve forgotten my coat. The girls are busy, busy, happy in a plan of their own, my daughter’s hair still in the braids I wove for her this morning.

The girls drive away. I head back to my car, sliding in my plastic-soled ski boots, and someone I’ve known for years pulls over and asks if I need help. Good lord, I laugh. Because our kids played together as toddlers, I feel I can start right in and so I do. I begin with the bathroom sink drain that I need to take apart, and how does anyone endure the college app process, and am I ever going to remember to clean the inside of my windshield, save for when the sun hits it and blinds me?

I’m really laughing by then, and she is, too. I lean against my car — again, shivering, shivering — while we exchange the usual kid and life updates of people who know each other but sometimes go years without talking. The cold air comes down in this sweet-spot crepuscular moment as the night slowly floods in. She leaves, and I stand for a moment, looking up for the first stars. Such little cares I’ve listed, the stuff of living, blessings more than grievances.

And then I’m on my way, too, leaving the river and road, at least for now.

7 thoughts on “Wet Gloves, Grievances, Blessings.

  1. There’s a lot to be said for sidewalks! Still you, made that VT road appealing, good neighbors and catch-ups. I only recently learned that a good part of my night blindness was that I never cleaned the inside of my windshield. I was sure it was the years making me night blind. There’s still that but my, what a difference cleaning that glass made!

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