Lessons Learned in The Car

The ride with the kids home from school is full of many things; screaming, whining, grousing, laughter, tears, requests, and sometimes quiet conversation. Topics range from attempts at "what I did at school today" all the way to "why mommy cannot retrieve a dropped anything from the floor of the backseat while driving." (My long winded exasperated explanation included Mommy getting into an accident and the police man asking why she took her attention from the road. Caroline's reaction was a complete breakdown that "Mommy would go to jail.") It doesn't help that we drive by a prison where "the bad people live."

Sometimes there are interactive demonstrations in which Caroline seeks a teachback of sorts. She taught me how to say apple in sign language one afternoon. "First you make a hook..." she began. "Now you do it, make your hook Mommy."

Connor looked up at the sky as I plunked him into his carseat on afternoon. It was dusk and he told me, "I see da' moon." He sees a lot out his window now and any place that catches his eye becomes "I want to go 'dere." Gillette Stadium. A shed. A post office. A large tree. A rural cemetary.

I also receive an education on driving from the back seat. They announce "Red!" "Green!" in a round of echo that begins with Caroline and is immediately repeated by Connor. Stop Signs get a rousing, "OCTAGON!" and "Oc-ah-gahn!" They also have opinions about other drivers on the road. "Go Car, Go!" (that's me.) "That car is not being kind, right Mommy?" There are endless Mommy and Daddy driving comparisons of course. "Wow Mommy, we got here way faster than Daddy does!" "How come you don't wear sunglasses like Daddy?" "Mommy, I'm HOT!"  or my personal favorite "Daddy never blows the warm air."

Caroline asks for Disney music. Connor requests any music. They bop along, sing along if they know the words, request endless replays of "she'll be coming round the mountain."

Mostly, my attempts to uncover the gems of their day are largely ignored. My ride home with them is most certainly the sparkling center of my day, even if there are tears and whining and requests for snacks and oh, for the love of GAWD, we are almost home. These little creatures judging my speed and use of turn signal are all mine. The night looms ahead of us, like a new day with that moon Connor is so good at spotting rising like a sun on a new day.


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