Back in the days before mandatory booster seats and shoulder restraints it was a pretty common thing to look in the back seat of the car, on a warm summer day and find your children in a knotted, cozy pile…fast asleep. It seemed to me that there was something particularly hypnotic about the freeway that knocked my kids out—routinely on any trip more than 20 miles long. Likely it had to do with the fact that they could scooch around into any position that suited them–on the floor of the car even.
I know now that the danger of unbuckled children is real and dreadful–and I am so grateful that we never had a tragic accident without the seat belts all in place. Thank Heavens! But in our ignorance–I will say that it was–at the time, a lovely thing to be able give each child a turn sitting up front between mom and dad, especially on long, tedious road trips–something I can’t fathom doing now. In fact, the memory of my kids climbing back and forth over the seats during trips is a sweet one to me, I think because I remember doing it myself as a child. I can still hear my mom say, “Watch your feet and don’t kick daddy.”
Sounds absolutely crazy to me now.
Of course it’s a better, safer, wiser day now, but we do have some sweet memories of those rides, singing and laughing and playing road games–looking for the elusive “white horse” that daddy would give us a dime for…yes, a whole dime, and that’s only if we saw it before he did.
Still, some of my favorite pictures are of these sweet babies, years ago, in those cuddly, tangled piles…