Ryan and I have vowed against road trips dominated by the shrill of “kids” music. We take great pride in our 5-year old’s eclectic and flexible musical palate: Coldplay, Sia, Radiohead, MGMT, Imagine Dragons, Enya. Portuguese, French, Hebrew, Gaelic, Amharic. It’s a selfish parenting move that we wear with honor.
With our 37-pound deejay commanding the playlist from the backseat, it doesn’t matter where we’re headed. Exalting sounds erupt from the speakers. Musical keys unlock a treasure trove of sensations. We are musically entranced, together, on a magical car ride.
I glance at the rearview mirror; the sight of Jaida dazzles me infinitely more. She’s peering out the window, dreamily taking in scenes from the natural and manmade worlds. I can tell she’s forgotten about being strapped to a stuffy car seat, or that she’s even in a car. She taps her delicate little fingers against her thighs and bobs her head in perfect harmony with the beat. I watch her swim in a pool sounds, visuals and emotions. I watch the memory of this moment being etched onto her jubilant spirit. We are strung souls gliding through the streets of music, inhaling the delicious winds of the instruments. My baby, she’s grand.
When we drive, I bottle the essence of motherhood and she, the essence of childhood. Playful bliss reverberates between us. She gives me her receiving. My heart is overflowing.
I glance at my husband whose gaze is fixed on the road ahead. He grips the steering wheel with both hands and is almost hyper alert to the traffic. He transports us safely to our destination while enjoying the music, though from a more confined space. I hear the unspoken vow that he’s taken to tether himself to the ground so that his ladies can fly high. He’s generous.