Getting Hitched

The object of my affection had put it off for as long as he could, stalling the way men do when on the verge of making a big commitment. But when our oldest announced that he was moving to the east coast for grad school, my man knew he couldn’t put it off any longer.

He had to put a hitch on our SUV.

For better or worse, his decision was bound to come with the inevitable consequences – family and friends coming out of the woodwork, asking if we could haul things for them from point A to point B, not to mention the wear and tear on our brand new vehicle.

When the day finally came to install the hitch, my husband was so nervous, you would’ve thought he was going in for a vasectomy. On his way out the door, he muttered something to the affect of “better not mess up the circuits.”

Such a worrier…

When he brought our vehicle home, it was happily hitched and, much to his relief, unscathed.

The next big nail-biting moment came when we went to pick up the trailer. Since we reserved it for five days, the plan was to drive to our second son’s campus three hours in the opposite direction, transporting a couple of dorm-sized refrigerators we had accumulated, and move said son’s belongings from his sublet to a storage unit prior to him moving into his new residence hall. A dry run, if you will, for the big move out east.

As we drove along the expressway with the trailer clunking behind us, my husband familiarized himself with weaving in and out of truck traffic with a caboose dangling off of our back bumper. Each jolt prompted him to pull off at the next exit or rest stop just to make sure the hitch was still secure and to retest all of the signaling lights.

These pit stops, coupled with the fact that we couldn’t go over sixty miles an hour, dragged our three-hour trip out to nearly five hours.

Once we were home, the adventure continued. After executing a far-from-perfect 54-point turn to try and back the trailer into our driveway, a sympathetic neighbor who backed his boat into his own driveway so frequently he could do it blind-folded, appeared.

My husband relinquished his seat behind the wheel and our angel of a neighbor managed to tucked the trailer, still hitched to our vehicle, securely in our driveway in less than 30 seconds. If I was still in my child-bearing years, I would’ve offered to name my next son after him. Instead, I made a mental note to send him a batch of cookies. And a new car. With a hitch on the back.

By the next evening, we successfully transferred our oldest’s belongings from our family room turned garage sale staging area into the trailer. After driving all night and much of the next day, we arrived at our destination, unloaded and, with minutes to spare, deposited the trailer at a nearby designated drop off point.

Watching as a couple of mechanics pulled it out of view, we breathed a collective sigh of relief.

To celebrate, we dined on succulent lobster and steaming baked potatoes at a nearby seafood dive. All that was missing was champagne and wedding cake.

After bidding adieu to our boy, my husband and I headed off into the sunset with the “Just Unhitched” receipt from the drop off point dangling haplessly from the glove compartment.

Already missing my son, I started to cry. Reaching over, my spouse, now a seasoned hauler, held my hand and gave it a squeeze. At the next light, he leaned over, kissed my cheek and reminded me, “We get to do this all over again in two years after he graduates.”

Be still my beating heart…


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