The much-anticipated booster seat arrived yesterday, and today was its day of deflowering. The dotter was ecstatic, because it's so much like a Big Person's seat.
This afternoon, Chef OmegaDad did his weekendly cooking-with-dad bout; he and the dotter made "pudding"--aka Chocolate Mousse. Shortly before the cooking session, he cornered me and begged me to take the dotter for a drive after the mousse was made, to which I readily agreed. She was in that I'm-so-tired-I'm-bitchy-and-fussy mode, and the slightest frustration (one of her dolls not sitting properly at the coffee table for the picnic, her little kitchen stepladder not moving where she wanted it, you name it) was sending her into flounces and almost-tantrums.
So after the grand concoction was complete, I harried her around the house, collecting socks (Polartec fuzzies just arrived yesterday as well!) and shoes and coat, buckled her into the booster seat in the Little Green Car, and headed out at 4:15.
After a whiny "Where are we gooooing, Mommy?" or two, she fell into a deep sleep, and I motored up the highway and over to Three Lakes Road.
For a few months, the drive has been The Road Around The Peaks (very pretty), and I had forgotten how much I love Three Lakes Road. But last week, that was the nap drive we took, and same today.
The road winds through the trees, then along the edge of the two man-made lakes and then through more trees, then along the bluff on the east edge of the natural lake. Last week, the road was icy, but today it was clear. The sun was edging toward the horizon behind me. The lakes were covered with ice and snow.
As we drove on, the sun slid further and further down, and the lone set of cirrus clouds to the southwest, peeping over the trees lining the other side of the lakes, started out with a rosy glow. Then the glow deepened, and the eastern edge of the clouds turned a garish orange-pink, framed by the deep gray of the lower-lying, closer puffs, and trailing into pink-purple, then purple, then gray.
This drive was a refuge for me a few years ago, a place of solace and peace. OmegaDad and I were going through an extremely rough time, and I found the drive through the woods and along the lakes settling and centering, an escape so profound that turning around and heading back to the main highway, and back to our house, was painful and wrenching. It is such a blessing to have it no longer be merely a momentary release that drains away so quickly.
At first, as I drove along in the peaceful late afternoon light, I glanced back at the dotter. Alas, the fancy new booster seat, with "wings" on either side of the head and cupholders (yes! cupholders!) was not designed to hold the dotter upright. She becomes boneless when she sleeps, slumping and drooping--and the booster seat couldn't confine her. She was slumped over to the left, bent at the waist, snoring away. But later, as the light faded, she sighed, and stretched, and lifted her body, and turned her head to face the other way.
I wished I had a camera. The peaceful dotter, sleeping in her brand new "big kid's" booster seat. The stunning orange-pink banner of clouds hovering over the trees. But there's no way you can capture that serenity, that peaceful feeling, that surrounds you. If I could, I would.