The Car: A Haven for Connection and Reflection

I follow several American influencers on social media, and it strikes me how much of their content takes place in the car. It seems as though half of Americans’ days are spent behind the wheel – dropping kids off at school, commuting to work, picking kids up, heading to sports and music practices, swinging by the drive-thru, running errands… All while waiting in various pick-up lines, squeezing in a quick makeup touch-up, planning meals for the week, jotting down to-do lists, and even meditating.

For many parents, the moments when their kids are finally in the car are often the only opportunity to truly connect with them. I recognize the rush of the day and the minutes lost waiting in line again at the school pick-up. And yes, finding real connection with yourself and your children in those moments always brings me joy. But when I ask my children about their day, they usually respond with a simple “fine” – the dreaded conversation killer. Sometimes, I can coax a bit more out of them by asking them to share two truths and a lie about their day, and then guessing which is which. This tactic sometimes yields more information.

But today, inspired by the “generosity challenge,” I’ve decided to ask: “How did you make someone laugh today?” and “How did you help someone today?” As I join the back of the pick-up line at our son’s school, the question arises: “When did I actually ask someone for help today?” I’m at a loss for an answer. What is the purpose of giving if there’s no one to receive? Learning to receive – that’s a journey I still need to undertake. And if I still need to learn it, what example am I setting for my children?

As the car door opens and our son grins, plopping down in the seat, reflection time is over, and it’s time for connection.

What’s your place of reflection and connection?

-Tine-

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