Unless it hails from Scotland and comes in a bottle, all 15-year-olds suck. They are evil psychotic drama kings and queens somehow possessed for about a calendar year to torment the world around them. Throughout my 30-year coaching career observing the sophomore population, I avoid all things Fifteen…including whiskey. You just never know.
I was hoping to sneak in this father-daughter road trip before Kéa entered The Wonder (what the hell happened to you) Years. This isn’t the first time I’ve been on edge about certain parenting stages. A month before Kéa’s 13th birthday I warned her that this was it. After June 15th she would only be seeing me though a hateful scowl and break dishes in the sink when asked to clean up after herself. It was nice knowing her and we would likely pick up again in about 13 months. All 13-year-old girls are the origin of tyranny.
It didn’t happen. My daughter carried on like a proper 8th grader, weathered the early months of a Pandemic, finished middle school on-line, and didn’t complain or spew hate-dad speech. I was wrong. Certainly not the first time, and in regard to this subject, hopefully not the last.
I had carefully planned the Jeep trip east so that I would pick up my daughter in late May, explore some foreign states we’ve only flown over, arrive in New England, and safely return to Alaska before Kéa’s 15th birthday. I dodged a bullet at 13, but this transmogrification, like Cinderella at midnight starring in The Exorcist, was sure to come. We’re now 10 days into 15. I check Kéa’s neck each morning for stretch marks to ensure that her head has not made a full rotation above the shoulders. So far so good. I was a horrible 15-year-old evil psychotic drama king, and I’m praying the infliction skips a generation.
The Jeep is now repaired. A new front end, alignment, and drive shaft prompted Bryce to phone me up and tell me that it drives like a new Jeep. I want the Jeep to be happy. It’s had a lot of time to visit with other Jeeps and enjoy the Boss Hawg Off Road Spa. It should be well rested and ready to hit the road. Kéa and I fly to Chicago on Wednesday night, spend Thursday inside O’Hare, and catch a Brazilian regional jet operated by third party Envoy Air for second party American Eagle for first party American Airlines. The paint matches the big jets, though. One week from today, we’ll be in Arkansas.
Other than two nights in Bentonville to connect with Andy and Michelle, we don’t have a plan. Having been burned by missing reservations and refunds, I decided that we would book on the fly and ditch the itinerary. We’re targeting Paducah Kentucky on July 4th because we think maybe there will be room vacancies. I mean, why the hell would anyone go to Paducah, KY for the Fourth of July? Other than that, we’ll wander our way toward the Atlantic with the intent of being in Rhode Island no later than July 12th. I hope the Jeep likes 15-year-olds.