Saturday, May 29, 2010

29. Road Trip: The Way Back Home

My friends and I rode bikes around the Western Plains Zoo, the children strapped into seats behind us. I was deeply moved by the field of rhinoceroses. Charlie liked it for a while, especially the meerkats, but he had a cold, his crankiness had manifested itself into a cold. He just wanted to be in the motel room really — you could open cupboards, drawers and curtains, fill glasses at the sink, jump on the beds – it was a giant playhouse. ‘I want to go back to my holiday,’ he said, every time we left the motel.


By the time we drove home three days later, his cold had gone to his chest, he was feverish and slept almost all the way. He was sleeping while I filled the car with petrol, sleeping while I pulled over to check the map, while I changed the music, stopped the music for quiet, saw another snake, more dead kangaroos, sleeping while I drove around trucks. He slept while I collected towns and villages for the Kingdom of Cello, and while I thought about how ostriches bury their heads in the sand but apparently they don’t.

In a busy town, I stopped at an intersection, and glanced left. There was the colourful playground with the lime green helicopter — the one he had wanted me to turn back for on the way to the holiday. The one he had promised to show me on the way home. I had taken the main highway after all so I could get him home faster. It seemed sad for a moment: that here we were beside that playground, stopped at a long red light, and he was asleep.

I looked in the rear view mirror at his sleeping face, the high pink in his cheeks, and he twitched suddenly, opened his eyes, blinked hard, yawned, turned left and said with quiet satisfaction: ‘There.’

So I pulled over, and he played in the colourful playground for an hour, and he seemed much brighter after his long sleep, and then we drove home.


Anonymous Amy Nutmeg said...

Adorable!! I love it, how he got his green helicopter in the end.

I read some of the comments by my fellow blog-followers today and lots are quite funny and good writers themselves!! Maybe we should start an online Jaci fan-group so we can amuse ourselves by talking about how wonderful you are and how much we love your books even when you are not posting daily.

10:45 p.m.  
Anonymous Tammy said...

Charlie is wonderful.

Re: your comments on the last post, I am very excited that you like L.M. Montgomery too! I thought you might think she was too old-fashioned or too boring or something. Coming back to her books as an adult, I have a new appreciation for them - she was a very talented writer.

And that is very funny, what your mum did. I did something similar: I went to Santorini in the Greek Islands because that is an important place in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series. If you haven't read them, don't judge them by their title or movie! I like those books because they are funny and are about friends and boys - that is pretty much why I love yours too :)

Have a lovely day with your Charlie!

10:02 a.m.  
Blogger Jaclyn Moriarty said...

Hey Amy, I agree that you and the other blog-followers are funny and are great writers - I will try to keep blogging sometimes and I hope you keep talking.
And Tammy, okay, I've been meaning to read the Sisterhood books for a long time- I did see the movie, mainly because I like the girl in it from the Gilmore Girls (the movie made me want to go to Santorini, too). Jx

7:05 p.m.  

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