Max: You drive sooo slowly, it can bring on the car sickness pretty quick.
Cassie: What?! I try to drive very SMOOTHLY…to prevent car sickness. Even my own. I’ve been known to feel a little nauseated cruising these California hills, even when I’m the one driving.
Max: You really are delicate, aren’t you?
Cassie: Who taught you that….saying I’m “delicate?” Your father?
Max: No. Why?
Cassie: That’s what Dad said to me once, many years ago, while we were driving up the California coast, on our first big trip together, before we were married. “You are such a delicate little flower,” he said. Because I was about to hurl and we had to switch places in the car so I could drive. The coastal highway route….very beautiful….very curvy.
Max: Was he mad at you when he said it? Annoyed?
Cassie: Mad? No, I don’t think so. He was just making an observation…tinged with a bit of sarcasm…like he does. It was like when he found out during our honeymoon that I couldn’t really play tennis very well….
Max: Like Chloe?
Cassie: Oh no. Chloe is a MUCH better tennis player at 12 than I ever was at 30.
Max: (Harumphing…scofffing. Then silence.)
Cassie: Max, you know, your sister is very good at a lot of things…like tennis. Our pride in her accomplishments does not diminish our extreme pride in all that YOU do well, too. Chloe always supports you. She’s impressed by you. You know that, right?
Max: Who cares? She’s totally annoying.
Cassie: (sighing) You’ll miss her some day.
Max: Um….no. I will not.
Cassie: You will. When she’s no longer in your orbit…to bump up against…when she’s off doing her own thing. At first, when you guys are away from each other, you’ll feel free…unencumbered..but then you’ll miss it…her buzzing. You’ll miss your sister.
Max: YOU might, but I won’t.
Cassie: I think you’re wrong. I get it that you are growing up, separating from the family, setting your sights on all the paths ahead in life…but you should never forget your siblings…especially the one closest in age to you.
Max: I don’t need her.
Cassie: Wrong again. Someday Chloe and you will need each other…even when you are leading your own separate lives, you’ll need to come back to each other. Don’t ever forget your sister’s love, Max, because it’s always there. That’s all I’m saying.
Max: Lecture over?
Cassie: Well….yes. But I hope you remember it.
Max: How could I forget it? A random comment about your driving…my waves of nausea…leading to this extremely annoying talk.
Cassie: Is that how we got here? To this conversation? My driving?
Cassie: This delicate mother needs to get these kinds of things off her chest. No better place to discuss life than in the car….while driving.
Max: Which would explain why you drive so slow.
Cassie: Slow-ly….”why you drive so slowly.”
Max: (Under his breath) Oh…My….God. Are we there yet?