Thursday, September 16, 2010

Girls in Trucks

Photo Credit: Brain Bunnies; Grandpa had this same truck, named Hi-Ho-Silver

My Grandpa R. worked over-the-road construction (read: gone Monday through Fridays) for over 40 years, until he retired. When I was little, before I started school, Grandpa would swing through our neighborhood at quittin' time Friday, load me up, and whisk me home with him to Grandma S. and the farm for a weekend all to ourselves. Monday mornings, with a chill in the air and complete darkness around us, he'd tuck me in my pajamas, still asleep, into the bench-seat front of his silver pickup and we'd hit the road again- his coffee steaming, my dreams still reeling, until we were back in my neighborhood.

I loved those trips. Mostly, because I was one of 14 grandkids, it meant I had Grandpa to myself for those few quiet hours. I was a hardcore Grandpa's girl ... I would spend designated Fridays all a twitter with excitement for my ride to turn into our driveway.

Last weekend, the lil' dude experienced her first weekend trip with her own Papa- a feat that made me so happy for her, knowing all these years later what they still meant to me. My Dad started a new job in July, just 25 miles from our home. He leaves my parents' house in the dawn of Monday mornings, and returns Thursdays. It was a big change for my family. And, it provided a way for my daughter to get in her time with her beloved road warrior.

As we l loaded her up Thursday in the cool drizzle, she kept saying to me, Just lil' dude goes with to Papa's house. No Mama. No Beagle. Not Daddy? Just lil' dude?! in more of a telling-way versus a questioning way.

That's right. Just you, I assured her as I kissed her face and said goodbye. I, more than anyone, understood what she meant.

This trip is just you, OK? Mama loves.

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