I cleaned my car the other day. Or, more like, I had the car cleaned, not at the car wash but at the repair shop. If you know anything about my Hyundai Elantra you will understand that the mechanics either took pity on the upholstery for the blanket of apple cores, cookie crumbs and empty coffee cups mixed with dozens of toys, from books to fire trucks and princesses. Or they couldn’t handle the smell. Or they saw a creature from the deep, as have I on more than one occasion, nearly crashing once. No matter the reason, the car came back repaired, clean and smelling like a pine forest from the air freshener.
I took a deep breath.
My youngest two children didn’t.
They looked into the car and said, “Huh?” And without questioning me, they raced back into the house and minutes later emerged with armfuls of toys. They tossed them into the car as if to say, “That’s better,” and then they sat in their car seats and we were off, life as normal in a station wagon that doubles as a moveable feast, triples as a play room and quadruples as a beach.
The kids started to sing.
I joined in.