Vehicles are made for transportation. We all know this. The size and shape, brand and color doesn’t matter as long as the engine is running.
Well, in my life anyway.
I’ve always had a hard time spending money on a box with wheels; especially when random opossums and trash cans jump out at the most inconvenient times and hit that box on wheels.
Or so I’ve been told.
Inside that minivan or SUV or truck or sedan lies a story. Think about it. Go through the years of your life. Memories are made on the road, maybe some of the best. What do you remember?
As my girls grow older, I’m discovering minutes of uninterrupted car time where two little girls have no choice but to listen to their mother. We laugh, and look and talk and argue, too. When the bickering begins, I blast the music. Which is usually followed by a “Mama, turn it down! We’ll stop.”
I plan to embarrass them with loud ‘90s music for many years to come.
During the silence of the car ride, when I let the girls talk sister to sister, when I kept my mouth shut and my ears open, I heard it; a moment in time that will forever be a memory.
“You can’t marry daddy! He’s mommy’s!”
Followed by the sweetest giggles you’ll ever hear.
It was cliché and brief and beautiful. And it started a conversation with two impressionable little girls.
“Nope, you can’t marry daddy,” I told them. “But I hope you find someone just like him. The man you marry must treat you with respect and be kind and love you, just like daddy loves me.”
“I know, mom,” they echoed.
I’ve told them this before. But it never hurts to remind them. And this time, they were listening. There was no electronics in their hands. No video games or movies or even books to read, just words coming from my mouth to their ears.
I hope they remember.
I spent the weekend on the road with their daddy. We laughed and smiled and sat in comfortable silence, the kind of silence that is easy and beautiful between best friends. 10 hours on the road for a quick vacation with friends.
And memories were made, not just in the city that we visited, but in the car that took us there.
I know I’ll remember.
I tell you this because I think, as adults, it’s easy to get caught up in the busy of this life, especially in summer. The hours between vacation and ball games and county fairs and swimming pools and campouts and everything in between can be rushed. When we’re in the car, we think our destination is where the memories lie, but we know better.
May your summer travels be filled with hours of laughter, love, and peaceful silence, a very little need to blast loud music to drown out the bickering and – of course – moments to remember, forever.