Several years ago my husband traveled through France where he met a family who had just recently moved ten miles out of town. This meant that the family’s two teenage daughters had to be driven to town each morning for school, and then picked up each afternoon for the drive back home. My husband asked the parents if they regretted the move at this busy time in the lives of their daughters. “Not at all,” was the response. Both parents acknowledged that they had drawn closer to their daughters because of those miles traveled together. The father disclosed that his daughters would talk about things in the car that they wouldn’t necessarily share in any other setting.
Remembering that lesson my husband has taken every opportunity to willingly drive or pick up our children for school, gymnastics’ practice, scouts, piano lessons or any other activity in which they are involved. He not only gives counsel and encouragement during these drives, he also listens. He doesn’t allow the radio to be on. That discourages conversation. Cell phones and IPods are in the off mode. He doesn’t want the interruptions. There have been times when my husband has driven into our garage and he and our son or daughter have sat out in the car for five or ten or even fifteen minutes while their conversation was concluding.
Parenting is such a busy and time-consuming commitment. Our attitude about that time can make such a difference in the lives of our children. And it can create frustration or it can create wonderful and cherished memories. As busy as my husband is, he has chosen to make cherished memories.