Saturday, May 23, 2009

Are We There Yet?

“Daddy! Are we there yet?!?” whined the 6 year old boy as he placed two chubby hands on the window, eyes wide at the cars passing by.

“We’re almost there. Just a little while more.” The father smiled as he looked into the rearview mirror.

The silver mini van wound along the neat rows of houses and trees. They turned onto a main street and gained speed, the signs and trees and parks passing faster. The sun slowly slipped behind a row of cumulous clouds, dipping the world in shadow.

“Are we there yet?” he asked sighing overtly.

“Just wait a bit more. Be patient.” The father answered as he turned onto another road.

They drove further on, gaining more speed, as the clouds gave a slow rumble of thunder. The gentle patter of large raindrops on concrete turned into a soft hush of cascading rain. The wipers on the window whined slightly as they whipped the rain off onto the wet road.

“How much longer do I have to wait! This is taking forever.” The boy groaned as he leaned back in his seat.

“We’re so close, and we’ve haven’t been driving for that long.” His father spoke gently.

“But its almost been a whole ten minutes!” the boy moaned as he traced raindrops along the window with his finger.

They drove further, faster along the freeway as the rain kept coming down harder. The car pulled off of the freeway and back onto the crisscross of roads and side streets. As they pulled up to a red turn signal, the father heard the boy cry out.

“Dad! Dad! Dad! The roads getting so full of water! We’re gonna be flooded away! We have to go!”

“Calm down, we’re still safe. Don’t worry. We’re gonna be fine.”

“You don’t understand!” he cried as he looked out on the rising water running past the car.

They sat at the red light, the son watching the water intently as the father kept an eye on his son and the red light. He knew they were safe, that they weren’t in any danger. But trying to explain that to his 6 year old son, that wouldn’t be easy.

“How long is this light gonna take!? Why are we still sitting here?”

“Patience. The light will change any second.” The father said as he watched the traffic speeding across the intersection.

As they sat there, the road seemed quiet in the pouring rain. The son looked from the waters to his father and then to the light and the road. There weren’t any cars. Maybe the light was broken. Maybe his father didn’t see the water. They should go, they should just drive, he thought.

Just then there was a screech of tires as a car full of unruly teenagers rushed through the intersection, wheels spinning wildly as their loud music reverberated throughout the road. The son caught his breathe, the father only smiled, as if he had seen it coming.

“Daddy, how much longer do we have to wait?” the son asked almost in tears. “We’ve been sitting here for soooo long.”

Just then the lights changed, the rain stopped, and the turn signal changed to green. They turned slowly and the son looked back. He saw the ocean that had threatened them just a few minutes before. And he realized it was nothing more than a puddle. And he saw his father smiling ever so slightly.

They drove on as the sun came back out and sparkled off the raindrops like a million diamonds. The air was fresher and clearer and the world felt new. The son saw a bluebird flying along the car, watched the wings and feathers so closely he didn’t notice the car stopping till the father said,

“Alright. We’re here.”

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