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You dash out the door and jump in the mom-car. Teenaged junior is still in the shower from rising too late.
“When will they ever learn to drive?!” You huff, shoving a pop tart down your throat, honking the horn and starting the engine.
And so it begins. A day of dropping kids off, running errands, picking kids up, attending piano lessons, dashing home, and then back to school for another basketball game (or two).
Whether you home school, public school, or private school, your kids need a driver and guess what – you’re it.
But how can you survive the whole taxi rat-race day-in, day-out, without losing your ever lovin’ mind?
Welcome to your home on wheels
You spend half your day in it.
Why not spend a few minutes each week prepping it?
-Clean out the trash and sweep your ride
-Store a few toys in bins or containers to keep little ones busy
-Install a pumpkin scented air freshener (or whatever. ‘Tis the season.)
-Select a few of the kid’s favorite CD’s (and a few mom sanity-savors too)
-Stash a notebook, pen, and book you need to read (for long waits)
This is your taxi. Detail it. You’re the one hauling around people all day long – may as well make it pleasant.
‘Twas the night before school…
Come on, girl. Get your route planned.
-Check with your people about where they need to be the next day.
-Write it down or store in your iPhone
-Pack a couple bottles of water and a few snacks for yourself
-Make sure your people have their stuff together too
-Plan to leave 5 minutes earlier than you usually do
If take 30 minutes each night to get organized and make sure you’ve got all the gym shorts, flutes, and homework papers together, it makes for a smoother ride the next morning.
On the road again
So everyone’s loaded and ready to roll. You may have some morning people and some not-so-morning people.
-pop in their kiddie music and let them enjoy, or give them a pep talk about their day. Be attuned to anything they may be apprehensive about such as a spelling test or a friend conflict. Get your listening ears on!
-Just go straight for the music. Try to play something you both like – it’ll make things go a little more smoothly.
-Once you drop them off, turn off the music, take a few deep breaths, and spend some road time in prayer.
Pray for the kids, their teachers, and yourself. If you’ve been looking for a fresh new way to zero in on your prayer life, here is a great resource.
There she goes again
I remember days that never seemed to end because we had so many destinations.
It’s annoying, but if you keep your senses about you when the kids are in the car, you can have some special bonding times.
My youngest just reminded me of some of ours:
Singing at the top of our lungs
Hitting our favorite drive-thru after gymnastics each week
Discovering what kind of music my girls like by playing their ipods through the speakers
Catching up on my daughter’s love life
Deep, introspective talks on the way to violin lessons
Listening to my son tell a hilarious story about his class (because that’s what boys do – they’re the comic relief)
And then, there was the time we joyfully belted out the “Star Spangled Banner” and then suddenly wiped out a dog….
…that cut the concert short, let me tell ya.
A few more suggestions
-STOP!!! ARE YOU, OR WILL YOU BE NEAR A GAS STATION AT ANY TIME TODAY?
GET. IT. NOW.Procrastination is not a habit of a taxi driver. Click To Tweet
And make it a rule to NEVER get below 1/4 tank. Ever.
-Slow down. I can’t tell you how many times I ignored the speed limit.
(Of course, I have the speeding tickets to prove it.)
Also, you could possibly avoid putting your SUV in the ditch one snowy night after swerving on a solid sheet of ice. (It was either the ditch or the creek. I chose the lesser of the two evils.)
My kids will never forget that night. And the napkins sailing from the rear past my youngest daughter’s head (we had just been to the grocery store).
Hear me well: nothing is worth speeding. Your precious cargo is more valuable than anything else in this world.
Go the speed limit.
A blessing in disguise
Don’t worry, mom. They will drive one of these days – sooner than you think.
And it’s not all that great to begin with, either.
But once they do, you’ll find you need to seek other times to catch up with your kids.
Because you’ll discover something you never realized until the moment it happens:
The taxi driver years have come to an end.
So prepare. Settle in. Bond with those kids. You are the taxi driver.
It’s not a hassle – it’s a privilege!
Cllick here for Day 6: The Kentucky Derby Hat!
Dianne Thornton says
Great words! My house is full of teens … none have their license yet. I’m looking forward to it — yet terrified as well! You’re so right about music. One of my daughters in particular loves to have music playing. I have some her favs in my car and she goes right for those. My son on the other hand, he loves music, too … just not the kind I like! I need to learn to like his. 🙂
Oh I remember that phase. It was a scary one. I gasped a lot. And then the day came when we set them off on their own – and I prayed all day. I still pray. But the sense of unease finally subsides! And YES – reach out to your kids with their music – even the son’s. It took my son a while to figure out what his style of music was, he ran the gamut, but happily, he landed on jazz – which I can live with! 🙂
Debbie Deviese says
Ruthie, I look forward every morning to your blog (and advice). It does make me miss my boys though and wish I could start all over again. Thanks for the smile you put on my face every morning and God bless you and yours.
Debbie, you are the golden star in my pocket! I love that you are on my email list and I love that we still connect. A retired English teacher as one of my readers (no pressure there)! What a compliment!
Thanks for your sweet words of affirmation, it means more than you know. But I can understand how my blog makes you miss your boys. But happy memories, right? Love you, friend. 🙂
And, when THEY drive? A whole new set of REASONS TO PRAY, enjoy the taxi years!!!! Mimi
Oh yeah don’t you know it, Mimi! Don’t worry, we’ll discuss the driving years later. 😉
Ooh! I need to do the toy bin thing. My little guy always brings toys (3 in each arm). They are piling up in the truck! And I always want to bring snacks and water, but I forget (err…eat and drink it all in one sitting). I need will power. I’m sharing this with a friend today!
When my kids were little, my car looked like a giant toy box. I finally invested in some containers, and my hubs was much happier with that. I just wanted them to be content in the car, and bringing along toys is definitely the way to go – so your guy is right on the mark! Planning helps! Thanks for reading and sharing, girlie! 🙂
Anita Ojeda says
I LOVED this! My youngest and I once spent 45 minutes listening and singing along to Kristen Chenoweth’s rendition of “Taylor, the Latte Boy” (if you’ve never heard it, you must. As soon as possible. It’s hilarious–especially if you love words).
I love words and funny songs so I’ll be sure to check the Latte song out! Thanks for reading and sharing, Anita. Sometimes I don’t know if people get my humor, but I can tell you and I click in that area! 😉
I’m all into your story from yesterday. Following!
Elizabeth Hepburn says
I have always loved taxiing my children round. It has been such a great way of connecting, talking, knowing what’s happening in their lives, laughing, praying… I have loved greeting them with a smile, finding out about their day, and praying with them. But now my youngest daughter is 17 years old and won’t require my taxi services in a couple of months. And believe it or not- I feel a huge sense of grief over it. I am really sad. It truly is the end of a very precious era. So to all those of you still ferrying round your families- it is most DEFINITELY a privilege- treasure it. Teaching all four of my children to drive has also been a privilege. But I’m feeling a little ‘lost’ about the next stage of my life… and I am asking the Lord for His leading and wisdom. Any advice???
Oh you are so right, Elizabeth! And I validate your grief at the end of the taxi era. I had it too. And am finding my way as 3 of my four are out of the nest. I grieved hard for a while. And YES – I have lots of advice! The biggest being – find something you’re passionate about and run with it. The kids need a bit of space, even though they will still check back and need you very much in their lives. But seek the Lord’s face and find your passion. I did this, and it gave me a whole new purpose in life (and did my kids a big favor by taking the magnifying glass off of them)! I’m going to write a post about this at some point. It’s important for empty nesters and near-empty nesters to know! Hang in there!
Elizabeth Hepburn says
I’m keen to read your post on the subject! Yes, sounds like I have come to lots of the same conclusions as you. Just putting it in to practice is sometimes easier said than done!! There are plenty of things I’m passionate about, and plenty of people God has put in my life who need a friend- so I know there will be purpose in this new season. I will ‘hang in there’- and God bless you. Thank you for your reply.
Elizabeth, I get you. I kind of spun my wheels for about a year before deciding on a strategy. God is working in your heart through this stage, allow yourself to grieve, but also search for the many things to thank him for! Thanks for your response to my comment (I sometimes wonder if anyone see those;)!
Oh, this was a fun post! And a touching one, too. My littles are preschool-aged right now, but I can already see a lot of miles going onto my van in the coming years. I need to trick it out now. 🙂 Thanks for the tips!!
“Trick it out” – I wish I’d thought of that phrase! Good one. And yes. YES YOU WILL put miles on that van! You’ll make so many good memories! Thanks for reading. 🙂