“Are we there yet?”
I glance at the clock, thirteen minutes. A new record. “Not yet,” I sing out, casually as if we were almost there, not almost an hour away.
Glancing in the mirror I see him look back at his book. Thank goodness he still sits in the back seat. I don’t think it has occurred to him that he actually could sit in the front.
“Are we having lunch out?” came the next question, minutes later.
“We can. Do you want to?” This was always iffy. Sometimes it was YES! Sometimes, an adamant NO! Then, sometimes, I had to decide for us because he was in a mood.
“I’ll think about it. Are we going to be near the place with the red chairs?”
I quickly scan my brain for red chairs. Darby’s in Lincoln. We’d be close after the appointment. That would work. “Yes, we will.” I say, with no emotion. If I sound excited, he won’t want to go. If I sound unhappy he will insist, but then I’ll be annoyed, hey, I’m human...
“I’ll think about it,” he looks back at his book. I breathe again.
Ten minutes pass, “Let’s go to lunch on the way home, Sandy,” he says. “You pick the place.”
I look in the rear view mirror, he’s looking back and he smiles, I smile back. He looks back down at his book.
That moment is the one. That moment, so short, he not only remembered me, he wanted to please me. By the time we get to the doctors, I will probably be a stranger again. Some nice woman driving him to an appointment. Some woman taking him to lunch, some woman.
But for that moment, I was his daughter, Sandy, making plans to take my Dad to lunch.