Saturday, February 12, 2011


When our four children were young we occasionally had to drive up to Johannesburg.
Its plus minus a 12 hour trip.
Its possible that I've been scarred for life by those experiences.
Lets see
Key words perhaps?
Heat, squash, whining, agueing, fighting, sweaty, thirsty, irritation, trapped, boredom, tension.

In my head, the hours it took us to get there from Cape Town, was an unending percussion of
"Move UP!"
"Mom, he's squashing me"
"You're squashing ME! Mo-o-om. . . tell her to move"
"How much fur-ur-ther?!"
Repeat endlessly
"I'm so hot, thirsty, hungry, bored. . ."
Repeat endlessly.

Of course, secretly and beyond my desperation for them to JUST STOP,
I had great sympathy for them.
We drove an old Ford Cortina with no aircon, and there were the four of them stuck like little birds on a wire in the back seat with nothing to do for hours and hours.

What made think of this was this photo posted on Facebook yesterday by DD2.
Two of her children on the point of leaving on a journey of a couple of hours

How's this!
Head phones, each with their own screen for their own dvd, seats like a spacious airconditioned bus.

My adult kids sometimes still talk about those long, sweaty, irritable trips of their youth.
Now of course, its one of those things we smile about
One of those precious things that are part of the fabric of our shared life.

Now also, we have the spacious airconditioned car, but alas, no little birds on a wire any more.
They have all flown to their own spaces.
This may sound maudlin, but there are times I wish I could be back with the beaten up old Cortina just have them all back there.


Kirsty said...

aaah! Nostalgia.... having just been asked if my son was my grandson.... I'm not so fond of nostalgia at the moment....;)

I am the youngest of 4 kids... I so remember those long, sweaty trips.... yuck!! Our parents gave up eventually, and we became a "take 2 cars on holiday" family... my mom would drive her car with 2 nippers in and my dad would drive his car with 2 nippers in! Made for an easier life... and it also meant my dad could escape to the golf course all day without us being stranded on the beach :)

clare said...

What a lovely post, I can so relate to it. I feel like escaping back 10 years everyday lately - I am not sure if that is a good thing though. xx

Lynette said...

This takes me back many, many years. Only difference being, my dad was a terror and us six were as quiet as mice in the back of the kombi....quite unnatural really;-D

Hayley said...

Love this post Allie...made me smile. I remember travelling in the back of my Dad's Opel Kadette all over South Africa....such amazing memories!

blackhuff said...

It's amazing how technology have made life so comfortable for us. Taking the picture for example. In my days when I was a kid, there was nothing like this in the car. Just sweat, warm stuffy feeling over and over again.

Terry said...

I totally understand how you feel. They grow up and leave and you're left wondering, What Just Happened!
Have a great day Allie

Trix's Mix said...

Yes...I have empty nest now too and although it makes time for things that I have been wanting to do I seem to be looking though photos and wanting to remember good times of when our children were young.