Road tripping

23 Mar

My friend Meghan listed off the reasons why her marriage failed; “We don’t have deep discussions about big issues. You know, those long talks that people have on road trips? We usually sit in silence, or make small talk.”

On our road trips, I knit and constantly keep track of just how long I’ve managed to stay awake. “Two hours! I’m not sleeping yet! Aren’t you proud?” Sometimes we try to determine who is playing the song on the radio. I check my email on his iPhone. Memories may tumble out of our mouths as scenery triggers them.

I couldn’t get Meg’s statement out of my head. It’s been there for weeks, just floating around, taunting me. We were getting close to Cochrane, hoping to get some of the world’s best ice cream before it closed for the night, when I couldn’t take it anymore.

“Do you believe in God? Would you go to church again?” We’ve been watching a lot of Six Feet Under, my mom was my Sunday school superintendent, and B played guitar in church because that was the only place to do so in small town Manitoba. We chatted about the need to feel like there’s something bigger than ourselves, that our lives have purpose. Even if we don’t agree with some people’s idea of whom God is. I talked about my grade seven world religions class: the school experience that led me to believe we were all calling the same higher power by a different name.

I asked him if he had any burning questions for me. “How many kids do you want?” We both grew up with siblings, and have deemed it cruel to have just one. Parents will pass someday, then that child will have no family.

It was quiet. When you agree on almost everything, deep discussions are fairly short. I asked the only question I could think of left to ask: “Um, do you believe climate change is man-made?”

It’s enough that I can’t help but smile when I look over at him, and that it thrills me when he puts his hand on my knee on an open stretch of highway where he doesn’t need to shift gears. When the biggest fault I can find in him is that he doesn’t recycle as much as I’d like, I think we’ll be okay. I even understand the lack of incentives, poor recycling markets and the energy it costs to protect the planet.

“Honey, it’s been five hours and I’m still awake, but I’m very sleepy.”

“I’m so proud of you.”


8 Responses to “Road tripping”

  1. mandy March 23, 2010 at 11:19 am #

    Reading this made me so happy for you! Its important to talk about the big stuff and be in love with someone that you can *talk* to.

  2. hannahkaty March 23, 2010 at 11:44 am #

    This post is absolutely beautiful. You put me right in the moment and I was captivated right from the start. Ah. I adore this so much. Thank you!


    Hannah Katy

  3. Leah March 23, 2010 at 2:48 pm #

    AWWW!!! I always try to have big, deep conversations with my guy, he usually isn’t so interested in them.

    Hmm … red flag? 😛

    I always sleep on road trips too. Cars just put me right to sleep and I LOVE sleeping. And being a passenger in a car.

    • Leanne Behrns March 23, 2010 at 3:08 pm #

      Our “big, deep” conversation lasted about 10 minutes. Ha. I don’t think it’s a red flag at all.

      Anything with an engine just knocks me right out. I love sleeping, but it’s not the sweetest passenger move.

  4. Hailey March 23, 2010 at 3:35 pm #

    I totally agree in having the big talks, but you gotta love the times when you can sit in silence, in comfort, knowing that you don’t have to say anything at all — just being alive and awake is more than enough 🙂

    • Leanne Behrns March 23, 2010 at 3:40 pm #

      Hails — I love, love, love this comment.

  5. TeeBat March 23, 2010 at 7:14 pm #

    My friend, how you talk about him when he’s not there is one of the most important parts! Talks, deep, small, wide, or narrow are very important, but so is knowing he is someone you can love for a very long time. Also, feeling how he cares for you…which is pretty evident! Wonderful, amazing, lovely…but it may not always be so easy, so when it gets tougher you will have to ask yourself if you just plain and simple “like” the person he is. If you think so now, dig deeper. If you know so now, you found it.

  6. Kyla Roma March 25, 2010 at 8:39 pm #

    This is so cute! I love this.

    Mister and I are all for the comfortable silence, the fast banter and the debates in their own times. From the sounds of it you guys will be just fine =)

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