Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Thoughts while driving

With Tim gone so much, it's rare that I actually get to be the passenger in the vehicle when I go anywhere.  More often then not, I'm the one driving while dealing with two children in the back seat, and the experience ends up being less than relaxing.

However, this past weekend, my sister Justine and I decided to surprise my dad for Father's Day, so we packed up the kids at 7am into HER car, and I got to sit for four whole blessed hours in a vehicle NOT DRIVING (two hours to my parents', two hours home at the end of the day).  There were still two children in the back that I had to deal with, but when you're not trying to focus on the road at the same time, the experience was significantly more enjoyable.

I actually found myself with some time to ponder while we were on the way home, but it struck me how the way I travel as a passenger has changed so much now that I have kids.  It used to be that I could sit for hours, just looking out the window day-dreaming, or I could sleep for a chunk of time, or I could read for the whole drive.

None of that really happened.  Yes, I still do those things (well, not the sleeping because of the dealing with the children thing), but I'm not doing them for chunks of time anymore; the pattern is a little more disjointed.

How can I explain this better?  Basically, I spent the drive home on Sunday going from one thing to the next, but never focusing on any one thing for a long time.

I'd go from staring out the window day-dreaming to staring out the window writing blog posts in my head.  I'd go from just sitting quietly marveling at all the awesome shades of green God created to chatting with my sister about random things and mental images, and then we'd randomly start singing along with the John Denver CD we had playing -- ah, the good old days.  (And yes, I just admitted that I sing along with John Denver...)  I'd go from feeling melancholy about the passing of time to feeling content and at peace with just being in the moment.

I'd go from enjoying the silence to desperately trying to figure out what book of the 20-some-odd books we had with us my daughter meant when she incessantly yelled, "Cat!" and, "No, no, no, no!" when I'd try to give her the wrong one...

I don't know if it was the constant interruptions from the kids in the back seat, or my brain was just not having a good day with focusing, but it was a weird feeling not to be able to focus on doing any one thing.  I think part of it was just that I wanted to be able to do all of those things, but the two hour drive just wasn't long enough to fit them all in.

I need to be a passenger more often...

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