"Those Days"

by Jennifer Caddell

Do you remember those days of sitting in your car, snapping your seatbelt, and driving away from home?

Me neither.

Now leaving the house, the parking lot, or the even the drive-through is an event. Instead of carrying a sweet little purse and placing it demurely in the passenger seat, my hands are now filled with extra sweaters, snacks, water bottles (stainless steel!) and backpacks. But that usually isn’t enough. Driving away from the house is merely a suggestion of actually leaving. Inevitably, there is something left behind and often the neighbors are witnesses to a dance known as ‘The Flight of the Minivan.” We leave, come back, someone runs into the house and back, then we leave again only to return again as another member of the family runs back into the house for a much needed object and perhaps, after twenty minutes of leaving and returning, we are finally able get to our destination. Or not. Usually by then one of the smaller passengers needs to use the restroom.

Heading into a store from the parking lot? Perhaps. Or, perhaps I am actually preparing for an extended stay in that store. No longer do I grab my purse, lock the door, and simply walk into a store. Nope. Now there is another dance needed that resembles a primitive ceremonial dance around the minivan as supplies are gathered and kids are unbuckled.

No, I don’t remember those days: Those days of simplicity. The days were heading into a store only took a minute, leaving the house happened only once per trip, or driving away from Burger Palace and having all of those hot, steamy fries to myself. I don’t remember those days because that simple life isn’t important anymore. Now, as I buckle in the munchkins, I receive hugs and kisses. Now, as I take some extra time to put on a little sweater, I receive hugs and kisses. Now, when I rush from the house during a second stop and arrive with the forgotten sock, I receive hugs and kisses.

I don’t want to remember those simpler days. I know those days will arrive again. They will be back when the children are grown: When all I have is a half-full purse and an empty passenger seat. When I will drive away from the house on the first attempt and not see any fingerprints on the windows and the car will be silent. Those simple days will arrive, and when they do, I WILL be remembering these days.

Jennifer Caddell enjoys writing science fiction and has a short story published in an anthology. She also spends her time being a mom, a wife, a gardener and a photographer. She shares her adventures in her blog “Building Character” at http://jcaddell.com

photo credit: toyxperts.com.au


  1. Ohh. *sniff* I relate, and this makes me so sad today. I love those hugs and kisses.

  2. That's not how it works anymore. LOL! Kids leave, and then they return and then they leave again and return again. It's like teaching a bird to fly, at least I think it is. Several attempts are necessary to get off the ground before they actually fly. There are no car seats, but there are larger bottles of water, more fries and the fingerprints are gigantic.

  3. I really enjoyed this post!! A wonderful reminder to live and love in the moment...to drink in every precious moment with our children... Thank you!

  4. This is hilarious. I only have one child and I still do absolutely everything you wrote. It is a chore to leave but those hugs & kisses are worth it (even though maybe a little frustrating as we zoom to a stop when we are late).

  5. And if you're Mr. Schrock and you finally make it to the parking lot, you park the vehicle so far away (can't have any dings or scratches, you know) that it is physically impossible to see the name of the store.

    You hope and pray you're at the right one.

    I totally get this particular dance. :)

  6. Thanks everyone for your comments!

  7. ROFL, 'the Flight of the Minivan!' Funny, poignant essay. So cool I'll have to come visit your blog! :)


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.