Tonawanda News — It started on a road trip.
Those are rarely fun, as a parent. Oh, it’s fun when you arrive at your destination, but the hours in the car ... not so much. I stocked up on snacks, books and non-obnoxiously loud games and grimly passed them back to the boys — restless as only active small children strapped down in car seats for hours can be — as the whining escalated and patience frayed.
We were finally back in Western New York, but still more than an hour from home, when it happened. One of the items I’d squirreled away for Sam, a small coloring book packaged with stickers and markers, had been eagerly accepted and quite successful in keeping him busy while his brother napped. My husband and I gratefully used the time to, you know, actually talk for a while.
An hour from home, we decided to reward the relatively good behavior with a stop at an ice cream parlor in Batavia. (Oliver’s, if you’re familiar with it.) I stepped inside to verify their hours, then emerged to wave to my husband from the steps. He had already gotten out of the car to unstrap the kids. I just noticed a rather flat expression on his face when he spoke. “Why don’t you come let Sam out?”
Uh oh. I knew that tone of voice. Something was wrong. Was there a potty accident? Are we getting kid attitude from one of them? I trotted back to the car, uncertain of what I’d find, and I opened the door.
And I had to walk away for several moments. I leaned against the side of the car. I closed my eyes.
And I laughed until I cried.
”Momma?” came the voice of a 4-year-old who is suddenly uncertain of the reception. I returned to the car.