I see it everyday.
Kids quietly sitting in the backseat of the minivan, eyes glued to Tangled on the screen in front of them, while mom chats away on her cell phone.
I can’t help but wonder if this is what our future holds.
Kids who cannot” behave” while in the car for a 20 minute commute.
Kids who can’t look out the window and *think.*
Do they constantly have to be entertained?
When I was a kid, we played tons of games in the car. We played the classic “Slug Bug,” we played the “ABC Game” (find every letter of the alphabet on the signs), we played the “States Game” (find a license plate from every state), we played the “Future Car Game” (the next “red” car is what “Jeremiah” will get for his 16th birthday) and we played the always entertaining “Future Spouse Game” (next person to pass us is who “Jeremiah” will marry.)
These games were fun! We would laugh and laugh when “Jeremiah’s” future wife turned out to be a scrawny bald dude with no teeth, puffing away on his cigarette.
When the games got old, we would sing. We would usually turn the radio off when we sang because we were just that good.
We’d sing “You are my Sunshine,” “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” “Pawpaw Patch” or anything that popped into our heads. We usually sang this is in “Campfire” fashion, and it was always so fun to try to keep in tune, while everyone sang different words.
We even attempted to sing the alphabet backwards, as fast as we could. Which was never very fast…or accurate.
Nowadays, kids don’t get to enjoy the drive as much as we did as kids.
Maybe it’s because my family was constantly on the road, traveling to our next ball game but we spend hours upon hours in the car, as a family.
I am so thankful that we didn’t have parents who told us to be quiet in the car.
I know I am guilty of ignoring my kids while in the car. I usually grab my cell phone and call my mom to squeeze in a quick chat while driving. My kids are usually in the backseat, one reading and the other pestering her brother. (I bet you can guess which is which…)
From now on, I am going to make a conscious effort to ENJOY my car rides with my kids.
Talking, singing, laughing and making memories.
Maybe while we are sitting at a stoplight next to the minivan full of “technology zombies,” they will look over and be inspired to stop the movie and enjoy each other’s company.