Thursday, August 6, 2015

Backseat Buddy

For as long as Owen can remember, he has spent an hour of his day in a car seat.

Thirty minutes there, thirty minutes back.

He's always accompanied me down the highway to my work town, where he's then dropped off at day care. On these drives we have counted cows in the pastures and laughed at the ones that wander into ponds. We've sung Uptown Funk and "Keri" Perry until our voices cracked. We've talked about favorite dinosaurs, our dreams, and the purpose of the poop emoji.

I have watched my baby boy grow up through the rear view mirror. When we first started our journey together, it wasn't exactly fun. You may or may not believe this is a real thing, but I know for a fact that Owen had colic. He screamed while I drove. I cried while I drove. I cautiously handed him over to his first caregiver and prayed she wouldn't give up on us. We all made it through to the other side and at three months exactly, our commute transformed.

After that our rides were silent. I was able to meditate on God's creation, write blog posts in my head, and appreciate the beauty of my corner of the world. I'd notice when the buds started popping up in late winter. I'd see the fall leaves sweep beneath my car. I'd blast the A/C this time every year as the numbers on the dash crept upward. As Owen grew, the quiet disappeared. It was first replaced with coos, babbles, and pleas for attention. It seems like these turned into full conversations in a blink. He also graduated to watching Youtube videos and expertly snagging a first-place 150cc trophy on Mario Kart. {I know. I'm proud, too.}

The excitement Owen and I shared on our commutes went beyond swimming cows, however. It was on the way home from work that I noticed a red ring growing around Owen's mouth and thank the Lord, I immediately assumed allergies. I quickly learned he tried peanut butter, and the rest is Epi-Pen history. There was also the time he and I screamed at the top of our lungs as my new-to-me mom mobile plowed into an unseen deer.

I lost count of the times I had to pull to the shoulder to hand him his beloved blanket or dropped milk cup. I've laughed at the craziest toddler jokes, I've encouraged him to have many good days, and I've enjoyed having that sweet boy there to while away the hours. I am thankful for the time.

Point: Tuesday afternoon was our last commute. It's the end of an era.
{I'm being dramatic, but this is a big deal to me.}

Owen will begin formal preschool in our hometown on Monday, complete with tiny backpack and nap mat. He tells me he's excited for two reasons: A) there won't be any babies and B) there will be plenty of boys. He doesn't know anyone who attends yet, but I don't worry about him making friends. These local kids are the friends he might keep from primary to graduation. I'm excited about this step, but I'm going to miss my riding partner.

Good thing I still have another. Two more years of driving Miss Nora sounds all right to me.

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1 comment:

Unknown said...

This is so sweet. I'm so caught up in our attempt to move to the same town as our school that I haven't even thought about what it will be like when I commute solo every day. It's going to be so different.