Some weeks, it seems as though I spend more time in my car—my second home—than in my actual home: my house. I have three children so there's a lot of shuffling around to and 'fro in my three-row Chevy Traverse.
I do all sorts of things in my car. I've plucked my eyebrows in my car, have applied mascara or a quick swipe of lipstick. I've interviewed people on the phone, I've brainstormed on my notes app or scribbled reminders with a crayon I found on the floor on an empty page in a Shimmer and Shine coloring book. (None of these while driving, FYI. Mostly while being trapped in my driveway, three feet away from my front door, wishing I could go inside to use the bathroom, make some coffee, eat a snack—normal nap time mom stuff instead of car nap time mom stuff.)
Anyway, I've gotten a lot done in my Chevy.
It is both a safe haven and a place of work. It is both a means of transportation and a means of caffeination (shout-out Heav'nly Donuts and Starbucks drive thrus). My car is a place to warm my tired buns on a cold day when we need to get out of the house because the isolation of motherhood is real (seat heaters…#blessed) and a place to quietly cry after holding my tears in all the way from the front door of my daughter's nursery school to my car door after being told all about the Special Visitors Day I had missed because I had forgotten about it.
It is an extension of my living space, and honestly, an extension of who I am at this point in my life: a mother trying to "have it all," "do it all," "be it all."
So to my car, my dear SUV that we switched to when I was pregnant with #3—I thank you from the bottom of my heavily caffeinated, worried-about-mileage ('cause there are a lot of miles) soul.
1. Thank you for being my mobile office.
I have hopped in many (virtual) team meetings from the driver's seat as my children napped. I have sweated through important conference calls as I listened in on mute because of crying children in the background as we attempted to get to school on time and I attempted to do my job.
I have responded to emails in the preschool pickup line. I have written countless essays on the Google Docs app on my phone while parked in my driveway, waiting for my kids to wake up. I mom like a boss in my mom-mobile.
2. Thank you for being my children's on-the-go bedroom.
When my overtired baby wouldn't fall asleep for her nap anywhere, I took to our car. When my older two were soooo tired but wouldn't give in to sleep, I took to the car. When naps were short and my kids still needed rest, I took to the car to drive around aimlessly while singing Frère Jacque (by request, not by choice) at the top of my lungs.
I have listened to Spaghetti Eddie's "Sleepy Song" on full blast millions of times. I have listened to my wave sounds app through my car speakers courtesy of the Bluetooth pairing to iPhone ability. I have cursed my empty tank as I drove around, playing the game of "which is worse"—waking up sleeping kiddos by pumping gas or running out of said gas and instead, breaking down in the middle of the road...
What can I say? While they dream, I drive.
3. Thank you for being my refuge.
On particularly hard days, I have walked bolted out the door once my husband got home with high hopes of driving to the gym but in reality, ditching that plan to instead, sit in the driveway listening to music while scrolling through social media.
I have been known to opt in on watching a show on my phone instead of catching up on email while trapped during nap time. I have listened to riveting podcasts and brilliant books while logging miles. I have indulged in many drive thru coffees and okay, okay, yes—occasionally a drive thru Big Mac, too. (There should be more healthy drive thru options, America!)
For some, the spa is where you get your "me time." For me, it's my car. There is a beauty in that sad statement, isn't there?
4. Thank you for being our date spot.
When date nights are few and far between, we'll get the kids in the car—during nap time, of course—and we'll take a scenic drive somewhere (after getting a coffee, obvs) so we can enjoy quiet conversation and time together without being interrupted by questions like, "Can I pick your nose?" or "Can I hear the Trolls song again?"
Whoever said romance was dead didn't drive a Chevy Traverse, I'll tell ya.
5. Thank you for getting us to our family.
My parents (and one sister) live in New York and my in-laws live in Vermont—but we live in Massachusetts. So, we drive to visit our people a lot! Five hours to Long Island, three hours to Rutland, multiple times a year.
If we didn't have you—you shiny, sparkly, comfortable SUV—we wouldn't be able to get to visit our family as much as we'd like. Where airfare for five is way too expensive on a regular basis, our car is our connection to the people we love.
You provide the comfort, we provide the mileage.
You provide the safety, we provide the entertainment.
You provide the support, we provide the lease payments.
The Rascal Flatts once sang (on behalf of Lightning McQueen), "Life is a highway, I wanna ride it all night long," and sure—there's some truth to that. But you know what I say? "Life is a really busy road and also sometimes it's a quiet driveway, and I don't always wanna be trapped in my car, but that's how motherhood goes…"
I think that would make for a lovely remix, don't you?
Volume up, windows down, mama.