“Are we there yet?” We’ve all said it, or heard it, from the backseat of our family car.
This past Easter weekend, we took a jolly jaunt to my hometown to see my parents. Don’t tell my mom, but we really make the drive for her cake. You can’t beat one with a stick. My wife would leave me if my mom would bake cakes only for her.
I drive. My wife and kids ride. On the way to my parents’ house, we’re all bright and bushy-tailed, and anxious (I mentioned the cake, right?). Normally, on the return trip home, I listen to a Nascar Sprint Cup race on the radio while the girls catch a few zees.
That’s the norm.
This trip, I drove my Ford Explorer, which an insurance adjuster estimated has more than $3,500 in damage from the recent tornado in Holly Springs. Tail lights are blown out, scratches decorate the side panels and a side mirror runs like a running back. It goes left, right, up and back. You can even take it off, should you enjoy carrying around side mirrors.
As I ride, I remember what a week it’s been. I remember riding out the tornado under a bank drive-thru in Holly Springs, recalling stories from my neighbor who hustled patrons to the back of the Lowes Home Improvement in Sanford, and reviewing cell phone photos from a Raleigh home where a finicky tornado dropped a pine tree, but decided not to partake in a pig that cooked on the deck at the same house.
This car trip, I’ll remember. I drove. The family slept. Same old trip, right? Nope. They were with me, and I was with them. As my mom sometimes says, “All my babies were in the nest.”
To tell the tale of April 16, 2011, we must remember to add the footnote that our Easter miracle came a week before the Easter Bunny did. We survived…not to hide eggs, or to fill Easter baskets, but to continue our journey.
This past Easter weekend, as a father and a husband, I was thankful to hear, “Are we there yet,” one more time.
Jay Hardy is the father of two in Holly Springs. He's a former sports photographer and reporter for WRAL-TV. Find him here once a month on Wednesdays.