As we drive, houses pop up along the country roadside. The sun beams down.
We are headed somewhere fun today.
“Family dayyyyyyyy!” was declared loudly as we packed up our belongings prior to departure.
My oldest speaks passionately about the most legendary of the characters Pokemon, and my youngest cheerily chimes in with his periodic “Yeah dat’s my favorite too, Mommy.”
They fiddle with their kindles and help each other with math games.
They bicker, they giggle.
I glance beside me at the man who has let me choose the radio station for almost two decades, and who inherently knows which songs I will like when he is occasionally permitted to decide.
He is handsome, strong, and silly. We are all in a good mood.
We chat about the random things that make up our daily life together – the neighbors, Netflix, plans for the week ahead. Homework, grocery lists, and bills coming due.
Which toy to buy with saved allowance money.
I throw some snacks into the back seat for the little monsters to devour.
Someone spills their water bottle on the floor, and we calm the upset party.
Crumbs fly everywhere, ensuring our minivan will never be truly clean – probably ever again.
We are rarely ever all together like this.
One of us is working, one is handling the kids.
One of us is helping a family member, the other is running errands.
The kids have activities.
We race from one obligation to the next, periodically checking in with each other.
We lose track of the time, a toddler shoe, a set of mittens.
Work is demanding, a child gets sick.
Doctor visit, cancelled plans, missed alarm clock.
Meetings, appointments, quick texts to friends.
Cat to the vet, birthday present to purchase.
Life is increasingly rushed.
Life will not slow down, but we can make time for each other.
I often think about how much our lives will change in two, five, ten years.
Despite the busy, I want my kids to remember this simple stuff.
The car rides to an anticipated destination that are filled with singing.
The small snippets of silliness we strategically plop into long days.
The doggy mask that “Doggy Daddy” wears to make his kids laugh before bed.
“Brown Bear, Brown Bear” read twice before cuddles at bedtime.
Committing time to our little tribe.
Enjoying each other’s company, fully.
Belly laughter and eye rolls and bear hugs.
I let the sun’s warmth sink into my forearm resting on the passenger side door.
I try to sear this moment of contentment into my brain for future recollection.
Little sparks of light collected in a dense, foggy world.
In this short car ride, I am reminded of our simple joys.
Can’t beat the commute today.