My daughter is, at this moment, sleeping in a bit after driving about 15 hours yesterday from Chicago to near Denver. She's helping a friend make the drive to college in the west. She's a fearless and experienced traveler, but this is her first BIG road trip as a driver. Naturally I've been anxious for progress reports that are, to my taste, way too few and far between. But hey, that's the way of the road-tripping teen and so I will cope. Anyway, the stop near Denver is at the home of my brother, but since it's a holiday weekend, my bro isn't actually at his house. Yesterday he was on his way to see his extended family in South Dakota. We knew that, but his empty house was still a fairly convenient, free stop for the girls, in spite of the disappointment of not actually seeing my dear brother and his wonderful family.
But, because Nebraska encloses approximately half of all the drivable roads that cross the Lower 48, it is not surprising that they would both be crossing Nebraska, albeit in different directions, at about the same time. Now that I think about it, I actually think you have to cross Nebraska to go anywhere west of about Pittburgh or east of Reno. It's a rule. Anyway, to make the best of this fact, they made a plan and I received this text last night around 10:30 pm:
Here are the actual photos he sent. To me she looks happy and tired and both grown up and very young all at the same time. She loves her little-kid cousins, so I know this was a happy moment for her to get to see them after all. It was a very happy moment for me to get a peek inside this experience for her. To know that she connected with family in the metaphorical wilderness of being so far from home AND made the time to stop and see them means so much to me. I know, I'm probably romanticizing it through the fog of my terrible far-family loneliness, but for Pete's sakes, they both had a LONG way to go. They both could have said sorry, we're going through the drive-through and saving time-maybe next time. But they didn't. They found each other on this little dot on the map and said out loud that family matters. And it does. Thank you Aaron and Amy for making a little piece of home for my girl and her friend out on the lonely prairie.