Overheard at Casa de Ambulance Driver

“Daddy, I don’t get that song. It doesn’t make any sense. Why does he call it a ‘Highway 20 Ride?’ You drive on a highway, not ride.”

“You’re being too literal, KatyBeth,” I tell her. “He’s singing about the trip itself, not the act.”

“I still don’t understand it,” she says in frustration. “Songs should make sense.”

I think for a moment before I answer.

“He’s explaining things to his son,” I say, choosing my words carefully. “He and the little boy’s Mom got a divorce, and he only gets to see his little boy every other weekend. He’s explaining to him why it has to be that way, but that if he had a choice, things would be different. And he hates the ride to bring his little boy back to his Mom, but he looks forward to it, too, because it means he gets to see him again.”

“Oh,” KatyBeth replies softly. “You mean they’re like us.”

“Yeah kiddo, a lot like us. Except that your Mom and me still get along.”

Her eyes cloud over. “I cry sometimes when you take me back to Mama’s,” she confesses.

“Yeah,” I agree, fighting back the tears that spring unbidden to my eyes, “Me, too.”

Most of the time, I’m thankful that her mother and I split early enough in KatyBeth’s life that it didn’t affect her too greatly. And I am profoundly thankful that my daughter is so resilient, that she sees nothing unnatural about having two families, two homes, two sets of everything.

And then there are days like today.

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