By Colleen Wood-Smith
Remember the days when your car was just a car?
Over the years, my car has morphed into more than just a form of transportation – sound familiar?
It’s the “homework club” car, where kids scavenge for pencils and chargers to complete the night’s worksheets and IXL levels while we wait for siblings for activities a few nights a week.
It’s the “diner-on-wheels” car some nights, where I store Goldfish, granola bars, apple sauce squeezes, and mini water bottles in the back at all times, “just in case.”
It’s the emergency, “be ready for anything” car, with clothing for all seasons, random shoes (sometimes only one), bathing suits, balls, craft supplies, bug spray, sunscreen, stickers from doctors visits, toothbrushes from the dentist, baby wipes, spare pacifiers, an extra dog leash and an actual first aid kit (which reminds me: I need to replenish the Neosporin, Tylenol, and gauze ASAP). In the event of an emergency, my entire family could survive well for weeks on end.
It’s the “movie theater car,” where we are fortunate enough to have a DVD player and every DVD imaginable. Cases of DVDs I’ve scored online, at local library sales and the free book and DVD stand at Holly Hill Transfer Station.
But most importantly, my car is also the family car. It’s the place where we often gather, where we are all trapped together to eat, talk, and laugh (and sometimes argue?) on the way to activities, outings, school events and playdates.
Sometimes, it’s where we slow down and connect. And sometimes it’s where time passes us by. Two of my kids began taking turns sitting next to me in the front seat this month, which is still really strange because colicky crying from the back and pulling over to change a diaper seems like yesterday.
My car has, in a way, become a huge part of our family. Would I love an immaculate vehicle, with sticker free windows and peaceful silence? Sure. But eventually, they’ll all be older, so in the meantime, I’ll embrace the craziness I drive around in.
PS: Please don’t mind the wrappers or toys that occasionally fall out of my car at school drop off and pick up. I’m desperately working on it, and hey, we are making memories here!
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