Do you remember riding in your parent’s car as a kid? Back seat? Sometimes facing backwards if you had a station wagon with those rear facing seats. We didn’t, but the family down the street did, and it was pretty cool. As cool as a station wagon could be. But no one wanted to ride in the back seat. Ever. There was a never ending battle in who got the sacred seat. THE seat. Having seven siblings meant constantly calling shot gun! Or coming to physical blows about who got to sit in that all mighty royal piece of territory known as the front seat by the door. Sitting in the front seat in the middle SUCKED. But by the door? A major coup.
We had a varied and assorted manner of cars and trucks, vans and recreational vehicles our parents used to haul us around. Some vehicles may not have really mattered if you got the front seat or not. The Winnebago dad would drive us in had prime seats everywhere. The sleeping compartment above the drivers seat. The shotgun of course. The bed at the rear of the camper. The table in the middle of the camper. And dad’s favorite, he put a little blue box behind him on his left where a little one of us could sit and mimic his driving. If you saw him driving with his arm out the window chances were good you would see a smaller version of him with their arm hanging out like dad’s. Or pumping up and down to get the semi drivers to pull their air horns.
Suffice it to say with three older brothers who exerted superiority at all costs means I did not ride in the front seat of a vehicle until I was an adult and had my own car. That may, or may not, be an exaggeration. But I feel it is mostly a truthful statement. I don’t care what any of you say, there was absolutely NO fairness in that household when it came to transportation. If one of the older brothers were going they got preference. And to be quite honest there was likely a time or two where a younger sibling was unceremoniously pulled from a legitimately called “shotgun” position and deposited on the outside of the vehicle. Not to mention the verbage we assaulted one another with in the fight leading up to the actual seat taking in the car. Ahhhh, the good old days.
Aside from trying to fight for a position in life as one of eight, what the heck was all of the fuss about?
Today I ride in the back seat. And after riding in the front seat for the last almost thirty years, I have to say….it’s kinda nice back here.
To accommodate my healing knee we set up the chaise like seating we can have in our Element for a trip North. It’s …. Sweet. I have my chauffer driving, complete with a hat. I have my Tim Horton’s coffee at my hip. My computer on my lap. My cell phone with wifi access and texting ability on my seatbelt. A quilt under the injured knee. It’s comfortable. It’s affording me the luxury of seeing everything. There’s a little more snow the further north we go. More hills and country. As a kid sitting back here I would have started out sulking, or possibly nursing a thumping arm or leg courtesy of a well placed and well hidden from the parent sucker punch. Today I am quite content. Pleased.
I think I’m mostly pleased because in addition to comfort I am traveling in today, I am enjoying my trip back to childhood. With seven brothers and sisters who’s worst fight in life was who got the front seat. And even after the fight, once the sulking stopped, I was still a kid with a big family who had places to go and a car to go there in. Life was simple and wonderful. I remember the back seat riding. Fondly.