thankful for quality car time

Why is it that the only quality time I get with my teenage daughter is in the car?

Is it because she is trapped now and, if she doesn’t talk to me, there is a real possibility that she won’t get where she wants to go?

In the car, we are the best of friends.

That’s where she tells me what’s happening in her life – a new boy she likes, a course she is struggling with in school, troubles or triumphs with her drama-filled girlfriends.

The car is the only place I get straight answers about her classes and grades. The car is where we talk about her college plans. Her future.

Often, I’m picking her friends up too and driving them home. It’s great because I get to meet them. Some I like – some, not so much. And the car is where I get to voice my opinion about them.

We sing along to the Kinky Boots soundtrack – really loud! And we laugh; we laugh a lot. And sometimes we even cry in the car. I’m sure that people in the cars around us are staring but we don’t notice.

We are in our special bubble, having our quality time.

In the car, this young woman is so vibrant, smart, open and funny . . . where does this young woman go when we arrive home?

We enter the house and – boom! – she’s gone. She’s in her room and I’m lucky to see her again before I say goodnight.

If we do cross paths in the hallway or on the stairs, I’m lucky to get a grunt or even eye contact.

Occasionally she joins us for dinner but it’s only for as long as it takes to fuel her tiny 101 lb frame (lucky girl got the body frame and metabolism from her father’s side).

Reminding her to bring her dishes to the sink is met with a snarky comment and/or a serious eye roll.

A final quick sip of milk and she’s gone again. Not to be seen now until I head off to bed. I always pop into her room to say goodnight. To be honest though, I think it’s only so I can be sure she is still even in the house.

People may say (and some have)

Why are you driving her (or picking her up) all of the time? Tell her to take the bus!

Why? Because I want my car time. I need my car time with her before she really is gone. I am so thankful for our quality car time.

Quite frankly, if it weren’t for our quality car time, I’m not so sure I would remember what she looks like.

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