The Conversation of the Drive

I don’t know about you but with our children getting older, we seem to have more and more activities after school and on weekends.  It’s a high wire balancing act, wanting your children to be well-rounded young people and still having enough quality family time.  And even though we try to limit our kids to only two activities each, and their religious education, withvarious random school activities or birthday parties, the free time fills up quickly.

We make a strong effort to still eat dinner meals together and we succeed on all but one night when the three activities – dance, and two soccer practices – coincide over the dinner hour.  On those nights, the children eat before activities and my husband and I tag-team until the kids’ bedtime, which makes Wednesday the official, “popcorn night.”  We are both hungry, but it’s too late for a full meal so a few bags of popcorn and a sitcom later, and you have “popcorn night.”

minivan

Busy family schedules make family time – any family time – all the more important.  That’s what makes the conversation of the drive so imperative.  Now sometimes we do turn up the music as I shuttle them from activity to activity and sing along to some vacation bible school songs.  But more often than not, the music is off but the car is far from quiet.  This is the time when we have some of our best discussions.  The kids share the highlights of their day.  We talk about how they helped a friend or felt sad when they weren’t included.  We talk about how their teachers are doing and how their schoolwork was.  And sometimes those tough questions come up.

“Why didn’t Allie want to play with me today?” Or “Why did Mitchell keep bossing me around?”   I know that I along am not wise enough to answer these questions – these life-forming questions.  So I breathe a quick prayer to the Holy Spirit for guidance and do my best to answer their questions.  We talk about God’s will for our lives, how he wants us to love even when others are not loving toward us.  We need to ever let the light of Christ shine through us.  We talk about what Christ did in the world, even when the world rejected him.  And we discuss how our ultimate goal in this life is to share the next life with our Lord in Heaven.

So between the stoplights, I pray that I am bringing my children just a little closer to that Heaven.

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