Have Jack, Will Travel

There was no day camp for Jack today because it’s a state holiday in these parts. Jeff always has to work on this particular holiday, so today has been a long day of abject hardship.

By 8:30 am, we were on Ride Number One of the morning. When Jack is bored and antsy and living in the relatively unstructured environment of home, he joneses for rides in the car pretty much nonstop. And by “joneses,” I mean he hounds me relentlessly. RELENTLESSLY.

We go get fries. We run little errands. Recently we started driving through at Sodalicious, which is the type of business that springs up and thrives in Mormon country. The desert has blossomed, people.

Sodalicious and its peers are soda and sweets shops, built on a Starbucks-like model. They have drive-through windows. They offer customized sodas with additions like coconut, cherry, lime, guava, and pomegranate. They also ply their devotees with giant pink-frosted sugar cookies, scotcharoos (like a rice crispie treat, but on crack—with butterscotch, peanut butter, and chocolate), and enormous soft chocolate fudge cookies (my personal favorite). They taste the way I picture heaven, because I feel that heaven will have chocolate.

It’s all sugar, all the time, because sugar is the one vice in which Mormons unabashedly indulge, and even embrace. We don’t drink or smoke or go for coffee. But we will consume sugar with pagan ferocity and abandon. Then we will post about it with pics and hashtags.

Jeff served his mission in Atlanta, where liquor stores are known as “package stores.” It’s more harmless sounding, he said. People feel better calling their whiskey in a brown bag a “package.”

This is why whenever we drive past Sodalicious, Jeff says, “Look, it’s the Mormon package store.” Which, it kind of is.

Jack is the reason I have gotten in on this craze, and why I keep coming back for more. One needs a destination for one’s rides, and it might as well taste amazing. I recommend the Rocky Mountain High, which is Coke, cherry, and coconut. It’s basically perfect.

We’ve recently passed the witching hour and it’s almost Jack’s bedtime. Today’s tally for Official Rides to Get Jack Out of the House and Buy Him Crap sits at five.

Sometimes I wonder if a conversation happened when we were planning and discussing my mortal life in the pre-earth realm. I picture God and his helpers being like, “You will be doing a lot of driving as Jack’s mom. Like, A LOT a lot. Don’t stress too much over this. Just go with it. Just drive the kid where he wants to go. Five times in one day? It will likely happen. We are just being realistic. We will make sure that someone has invented the Mormon package store, which will be a boon to you both. Also, know that we certainly aren’t judging you guys on your sugar intake. Do what you’ve got to do to keep Jack happy.”

This is literally the conversation that I envisioned today, I believe during Ride Number Three. The weird workings of my mind can unearth peace in unlikely places.

God knows what it takes to keep Jack content.  He drives with us.


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