With three children in middle and late childhood, I find myself behind the steering wheel more often than I would chose.

From piano lessons, to sports practices, church activities, social events and doctor’s visits, a child always needs to be somewhere.

But, now that I have a freshman in high school and the time is nearing for him to drive himself, I am holding onto that precious windshield time as much as possible. It’s often the best time to learn about what’s going on in my child’s mind and heart. It’s a chance to connect with him, uninterrupted by television and the demands of home.

He talks about the silly things like, “Mom, I’m tired because I had to be the last one asleep and the first one up last night at the party so I wouldn’t get my eyebrows shaved off,” to the more serious conversations like, “I have decided I want to go to military because it’s something honorable to do with my life.”

My son has braces, which requires us to drive to an orthodontist an hour away several times a year for adjustments. It seems like a hassle to take time off work and school to drive to the orthodontist. But, I am beginning to see these trips as blessings of time to spend with my oldest son in the few more years that he will still be living in our household.

I remember back to the “windshield time” I had with my dad when I was a child. My dad was a business owner and spent many long hours working to keep his customers satisfied and the business successful. But, he took time to drive us to school most mornings.

Although I hadn’t discovered my love of country music at that time, I have fond memories of “Love Is Alive and At the Breakfast Table” by the Judds playing in the background while we got those few moments with dad each morning.

Now, my husband takes time out of his busy mornings to drive our kids to school because that’s his special windshield time with our children.

And, my husband and I have discovered it’s good to volunteer to carpool and transport other kids. That’s when we can find out the really good stuff from our son’s friends!

So, bring on the haircut appointments, sports practices and social events. I’m ready to connect with my kids!

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Kristine Jacobson

Kristine Jacobson is a writer, a mother of three children and farm wife living in South-Central Nebraska. She puts her creative skills to use as editor of Nebraska Family Magazine at www.nebraskafamilymagazine.com and helps non-profits and small businesses share their stories in her public relations business, KRJPR.