There are times when I'm driving with my children, and they're screaming at one another so loudly in the back seat I feel my brain cracking. One is yelling she's Thirrrrrrrrrrrrrrsty!, and the other says that her voice is making him nauseated and will I please pull over now. And then we hit a traffic jam, and they start trying to hit one another with the straws from the smoothies we had two days ago, and I'm convinced that no one should have EVER invented automobiles in the first place.
Other times, however, there's nowhere I'd rather be than in my minivan with my kids. I'm randomly struck by feelings of pure joy when we're all in there together in our own crumb-filled bubble, navigating our way through the town. Here are seven of my favorite times in the car with my kids.
1. One-on-one time
It's especially great when I have just one of them alone, away from the distractions of television, homework, and toys. It's just me and them, and some of the most amazing conversations and questions come pouring forth when they have nowhere else to go.
2. When they hold hands
This hasn't happened in awhile, but it used to frequently when they were younger. I'd glance back when things were a little too quiet, and see them sitting hand-in-hand for no reason at all.
3. When we all belt out songs together
Be it "Call Me Maybe," "Hey Jude," or a Christmas tune in June, there's nothing like the sound of us all singing in harmony (or something like it) together.
4. When we car dance
Sometimes it goes along with #3. Sometimes it's just its own thing. We always probably look crazy to passing cars.
5. When they're with their friends
They forget I can hear them up front, and I do nothing to remind them. I get such a great glimpse into their world that's increasingly growing separate from mine.
6. When they tell me jokes
For whatever reason, my kids like to make up jokes in the car. We will go miles and miles with them trying to outdo one another and cracking themselves up. Some of them are even funny.
7. When they're sleeping
There's nothing better at the end of a long, fun day than to see two exhausted children in a deep, peaceful, pure sleep.
What moments in the car do you cherish with your children?
Image via Julie Ryan Evans