Monday, February 22, 2016

A Backseat Slice



      I'm slicing with the Two Writing Teachers community today.  It's the final Tuesday slice before next Tuesday, the MARCH SLICE OF LIFE CHALLENGE. Are you ready? Thank you Stacey, Tara, Anna, Betsy, Dana, Kathleen, Beth, and Deb.  

     Those of you who read my slices know that I have favorite topics. Family, teaching, writing, and nature take most of the room. Those are the topics that fill up my life, so they are the slices of the cake, or pie, however you imagine slices. 
      Here's a backseat slice, and those of you who have children or grandchildren, or other children who sometimes ride in the back of your car will understand. You will have similar moments. I've even written a poem about it, and that might be another post. 



       Each week my granddaughters visit me after school. Imogene is four and comes on Wednesdays; Ingrid is six and is with me on Fridays. They are with me from about 3:30 until I take them home about 7:30. In the dark, various things happen. During the Christmas season, I drive different streets so we can check out all the lights, and peek inside windows to see other Christmas trees. And we sing as many holiday songs as possible. Other times we just talk, but most of the times we sing. They both know so many songs. Their parents teach them, play songs on the radio, videos on television, etc. And they know different kinds: country, jazzy blues, and rap. 
        Children seem to lose inhibitions in the dark, in the backseat. I've experienced it with my own children. They try silly things, bring up serious questions, tell about worries. We settle into the moment. During these past few weeks, instead of singing the usual songs, Ingrid announces the "Ingrid and Grammy" song competition. She kind of runs the show, FYI! She chooses a topic, and we each have about a minute to think how we're going to create the song. It's not easy. For example, this recent week the subjects were "bricks" and "skyscrapers". Usually, she sings first, then I sing. Then we shout "hurrah", and Ingrid announces a winner. Mostly, she gives herself the prize. Remember she's six. But sometimes I win! And that feels very good.
        Imogene sometimes sings, but she started a new thing last week. She says, "Let's play categories." And to her, that means, name all the fastest animals, which ones are the tallest, name all the fruits (you like and hate), the vegetables (same), and on. 
        It's only about twenty or twenty-five minutes to arrive at their house, but it's quite a silly ride. It's very quiet on my way back home.


26 comments:

  1. So fun to hear about the backseat games you enjoy with the grand girls! Love how you settle into the moment.

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  2. After all the action I am sure the ride home is very quiet. Do you enjoy the balance of crazy activity followed by quiet reflection?

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  3. What a special time with your grand girls! How great that each of them gets their own day! You are building memories that will last a lifetime!

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  4. LOVE that you've made something ordinary so extraordinary with your slice! My niece is almost five and she LOVES the category game!!! Here's wishing you more wins in the song competitions. Haha!! What precious moments with your granddaughters! Thank you for sharing!

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  5. Love this post, Linda. Your posts about your grandchildren are always a delight to read. I can just hear the "hurrah!" I've always treasured car time with my own kids. I still don't mind an extra trip to pick them up at college (luckily less than 2 hours away) even if they have an alternative ride, so we can have those car conversations. I also am a big fan of road trips over airplane travel for the same reason. Thanks for sharing!

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  6. That's my secret for new parents. Remember the power of the backseat. I learned so much about our own two children. I am saddened when I look out the car window and see the new cards with movies running. I wonder what happens to their conversations?

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  7. Another fun 'backseat' story! Your grandgirls are so creative. I continue to be in awe of the special time you get to share with them every week. Have a great week, Linda!

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  8. Ah, you have described the quiet intimacy of the the dark and the grandparent - grandchild relationship perfectly. It is such a special time and place to be in. I am happy that you get t spend time there every week.

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  9. I love this! What joys your grandgirls are. They entertain themselves and you in the most clever ways. I remember lots of things that came out of car rides. Some of it has to do with the limited eye contact. Inhibitions come down and things come out. Great slice!

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  10. Conversation, that's what your grand girls are learning. What a great time to be together! Lucky you and girls!

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  11. My oldest just got his driver's permit… I have such feelings about losing that time in the car. Everyone keeps telling me I should be so excited about not having to drive him everywhere … I agree with you. Something about the car allows them to open up --some of our best conversations are in the car. Thank you for sharing and helping me connect with how I am feeling about this transition in my life.
    Clare

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  12. What great skills your grandchildren are learning ---the art of conversation and the use of imagination. How quickly those 25 minutes must pass.

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  13. Another delightful slice about your grandchildren. These are the special tines they will always remember and times that you will cherish.

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  14. What a wonderful post that has me feeling so warm and cozy. It brings me back to the days when I had little ones around. Backseat slice-although at first I did not know what that meant, Linda, I totally appreciate the inside look at Grammy and her grandchildren. Keep the stories coming.

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  15. I love this post! Congratulations on winning the contest sometimes...it sounds as if you have some stiff competition. Thank you for reminding me of all the important conversations that occur in the car - a wonderful idea for a slice.

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  16. And this is why you never ever get old. ;)

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  17. Linda, this Slice is my life. Some of my favorite moments with my kids are in the car. We are the exact same way - we sing, we play silly games, we talk. You captured it so perfectly here.

    Love your ending line, too.

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  18. I love how you spend time with each of your grandgirls separately. So beautiful.

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  19. You really have the best situation, grandgirl wise, Linda - and I do love reading of your times together. You are all so lucky - the girls, especially, for you will play such a big role in shaping their lives. How lucky they are!

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  20. So fun. Silliness is a wonderful part of life.

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  21. I am so busy today, that I chose to read more slices rather than comment here to each of you. I appreciate your comments, and hope you enjoy your own "backseat" experiences in the future! Thank you. I'm looking forward to SOLC16!

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  22. I always loved being the "taxi driver" for my girls when they were younger. The back seat, the darkness, the lack of face to face - all lent themselves to an anonymity that allowed my daughters to say things they wouldn't in a face to face conversation. I treasure those moments.

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  23. It's so cute how the backseat becomes kind of a magical place... I can't wait to experience that firsthand when my baby gets older! Loved picturing your sweet moments with Ingrid!

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  24. This is so adorable! I remember the car rides when my kids were little. I look forward to rides with grandchildren someday. These is something quite magical about the car in the dark.

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  25. I wonder what was in your backseat song about bricks? That does seem like a pretty hard topic :-) I am impressed that you win sometimes! I remember when I told a different "beanstalk" story every day to my youngest. You can come up with a surprising number of variations on going up a beanstalk!

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    1. Aha! Maybe I'll introduce the beanstalk idea, Tabatha. As for the bricks, I sang about buildings tall, and Ingrid sang about carrying bricks and working hard! It's a mystery what comes when one is presented with a 'word'.

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Having a conversation is a good thing!