I was woken up by my parents as they scurried around preparing for our road trip. It was still dark outside. I was ordered to get dressed in the clothes that were set out for me. All I knew in my grogginess was that we were traveling to San Antonio to visit my Aunt Mary and Aunt Lupe, my Dad's sisters.
I have never slept on road trips, even as a younger person my FOMO kept me awake. I rarely do now unless my body just can't resist the fatigue. This trip was different though because there wasn’t much to look at in the darkness, just street lamps shining on nothing. My eight year old self, dosed off from boredom. When I woke up the morning sun had just risen and we were on the San Antonio Freeways.
Dad must have been happy because he turned the radio on. It was an AM station, maybe KEYS or KTSA. The reception and quality this morning were clearer than I had ever heard. The song playing was Silly Love Songs by Paul McCartney and Wings.
The morning sun lit up the city just as the chorus began. An elongated I... Love….. You…. with orchestral violins in the background filled the car, I….. Love….. You…..., God I loved Paul McCartney, I …...Love….. You…..., what a magical moment, I…... Love…... You….. It felt as if we were flying on that freeway and there was so much to see. Dad was smiling and Mom was cheerful, but nervous. She was always nervous.
We arrived at my Aunt Mary and Uncle Henry’s house. It seemed as if we had been driving for an eternity, so it was confusing to me why my cousins were still in their pajamas, but it was still quite early in the morning. They peeked over their bowls of cereal with reticence and bed head as we stared at each other in silence. We had been ordered by our parents to spend time with each other. Kids in one room, adults in another.
My sisters and I sat and watched cartoons as my cousins got dressed. There were plans for the day but I was not privy to them. I just followed along not knowing where and when we would be toted to next. This most likely created some discomfort for me because even at eight years old , I liked to know when and where I was going. Going with the flow was an act I would put on, unless I was in control of the flow.
Details of that trip are a blur. I do remember visiting with my Aunt Lupe and Uncle Oscar and their children, driving through the Air Force Base where my Uncle Henry worked. I remember going to a shopping center and watching my cousin buy a Pet Rock . I remember coming home with new sandals from SAS (those sandals lasted forever). I have memories of sitting in gym stands where my cousin was playing volleyball and accidentally cheering for the other team. I remembered feeling chastised and left out.
Feeling left out.
But I'll never forget that song at the beginning and that feeling. Oh that wonderful feeling when music and moments create magic.
That was the best part of that trip for me.