I never expected my parents to cart me all over God's green earth and back on any Tuesday/Wednesday/AnyDay of the week.
And I suspect that they wouldn't have; which is why I never asked.
But I'm a whole generation removed from that now, and now I sit in the driver's seat.
I'm the mom.
And my children do
Actually, I quite want to drive my kids to their events. It makes me feel like I'm accumulating "good mommy points" which I might be able to redeem some day. (in La La Land) Besides, I love spending money on gas. This gives me more excuses to indulge in my local Co-op gas station. Some girls like to get their nails done,drink lattes, or go for a massage. Not me. I prefer petrol.
Soccer and basketball have taken me to many interesting locations and truly broadened my horizons. In fact,, there may be times when I've literally driven from horizon to horizon in a single weekday evening. And none of it is my fault. Whatsoever. I'm very organized, smart, and am blessed with an entirely orderly mind. I have an extraordinary memory for all sorts of facts.
So, it's not my fault that last year, Beausejour was up highway number one right close to Hadashville. I knew this because roughly a million years ago when my sister was in high school, she got hired by a music store in Steinbach to teach piano lessons to students in the Beausejour and Hadashville areas. Ever since then, I've thought about Beausejour every time I pass by the Hadashville sign along the highway on my way to the cabin on a carefree, rain free, pre-schooler free summer's day. So, it's not my fault that Beausejour had melded in my brain as a sort of suburb of Hadashville. It's the fault of my sister for having taken that job. And the fault of carefree summer days. And the fault of the forefathers of Manitoba for not having planned it that way all along. It really would have helped me last year when I had a van full of soccer players heading east east east east when meanwhile the brotherhood of geographical Manitoba held onto the silly idea of Beausejour being NORTH. Not EAST.
A year ago, after way too many minutes of heading east for soccer, I was beginning to wonder if I should simply take the whole shin-padded lot to the cabin and feed them hallucinogenic jello so they'd forget all about my awkward geography. I was at this point beginning to suspect that they'd moved Beausejour without asking my opinion first.
A text or two confirmed that I was waaaaaay east. That I needed to connect to a different highway, head back west for a really long time, then head north
We drove through many, many pretty towns that I'd never heard of before. I began to feel profoundly grateful for my all inclusive trip. It was including neat things I'd never heard of before. A town named "Vivian". How pretty is that? another named "Saint Rita"- I'd like to meet her- I bet she'd have sainted me on the spot for my patience with Manitoba geography. I held no ill will towards Contour or Nourse for their sudden appearance in my province. I had my sainthood to consider.
What the province planners hadn't considered when they just went ahead and reorganized everything that way was that it was going to be pret-near impossible to get the girls to their soccer game. But I did it because I'm just savvy that way. I got them there well in time for the second half. Which included a stop at the local filling station for some bladder unloading. Girls these days. Can't hold their water for a tiny little million hour cross continent van drive.
This year when the soccer schedule said Beausejour, I was prepared. I remembered that Beausejour was north of Winnipeg. It wasn't east of Winnipeg like it had been in the olden days. I was nobody's fool.
So, I headed up highway 59 with the world at my fingertips. I was nearly at the perimeter of the city when my daughter spoke up- why had I chosen to take this route? Silly girl. She didn't know how tricky our province could be. I patiently explained that we needed to get to B which was north and no longer east of the city.
Not quite so; she thought to mention.
Slippery roads. They so wouldn't be the boss of me.
We headed east for a really long time.
Turned north at the appropriate time and place.
The sign said so.
We drove for another really long time. The sign said that Beausejour was fifty km away. Just before approaching the turn off, we received a text that maybe the game was actually in another town named Tyndall?
I felt my halo slipping dangerously. My internal GPS began seizing up. My gas needle sighed audibly. The girls had to pee.
Coach texted- not to worry. Simply drive through Beausejour. Turn left immediately after. Turn left again. Stop at Tyndall.
Beausejour was ten kilometers east off the highway.
Turn left one mile.
Turn left for eleven kilometers.
And that, folks, was not my idea.
It wasn't my idea to rearrange geography- to ever move Beausejour in the first place. I thought it was just fine up by Hadashville where it belonged. Furthermore, it wasn't my idea to do a giant figure eight prairie style to land up in small town anywhere, five hundred thousand dollars in gas later.
Next year I'm so gonna use google maps.
That'll show 'em.