At Long Last Sitting in the Front Seat

Someone might not be happy about me posting this pic on this blog.

Someone might give me a look.

Someone might roll her eyes.

We’re very much in the teen years over here. Two teens in fact. Teens are the new toddlers. Teen are remarkable. Teens are frustrating. Teens are helpful around the house…except when they are not. Teens are all these things and more.

My teens have wanted to sit in the front seat of my van since I don’t know when. Years and years. I always said “No.” Until one day when I said “Yes.” When I said Yes, both kids were ecstatic. Overjoyed. Over the moon.

Each would open the front passenger door quickly all while yelling “Shotgun!” I loved having them sit next to me. We chatted. I let who ever was sitting in the front be the official “channel changer.”

I was getting so used to my oldest daughter sitting next to me that the one day when she sat in the back of the van I was shocked. I looked around and asked her why she wasn’t sitting up front. Didn’t she always love sitting in the front seat? I got a “friendly” mumble from my daughter. My daughter looked up at me briefly before looking back down. Her music on her iPod was obviously more compelling than talking to little old me.

And so it goes. As my oldest daughter drifted to sitting in the back of the van, her younger sister jumped at the chance to sit in the front of the van. She had no competition for the coveted seat. Well, except from her younger brother. I enjoy chatting my my newly minted teen. We laugh. I let her monopolize the radio. I mostly like her music choices, except when I don’t. The pounding music has to go. I’m sorry I just can’t drive with that din on the radio. Ahem, when did I become such a fuddy duddy.

But, every so often my older teen surprises me. Out of the blue she’ll surprise me with something that she does. I’ll be caught off guard. Like today…

Today we left the house around 6 p.m. Way late. I should have left much earlier. I had dropped off my younger daughter at swimming, put in and retrieved two prescriptions, said goodbye to my husband and son, paid checks in to the bank, packed, finished off some last minute work, and was ready to leave. But, somehow time got away from me.

This evening my daughter packed her stuff in the van. So did I. I climbed in the front seat, and so did she. I was surprised. I may have raised an eyebrow. But, I kept quiet. I waited to see how everything would play out.

She was quiet at the beginning of the drive. We chatted about this and that. It was an easy conversation. Lulls. No headphones were inserted in her ear. I turned down the radio. And then she fell asleep. I continued driving. Searching all the while for a Sonic to stop at. The drive continued without incident. She slept while I drove.

And we stopped. For dinner at Wendy’s. We’d been looking for a Sonic. No luck. Wendy’s would have to do.

With dinner at the ready, I started up the car. She chomped on a backed potato and burger, while I had a spicy chicken sandwich and fries. The food satisfied us. We chatted in between chewing and slurping. From 80s movies to Wicked to her drama class to driver’s education we talked and talked. I wasn’t the one probing for information. And she wasn’t the one who’d rather not talk. It was a conversation. A very good conversation. Bonus: She was sitting in the front seat.

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