The other day I had to take two long drives in one day. One of those was with a car full of people. The other was with Joshua. I realized that day that it is so nice to go on drives with Josh.
This kid loves riding in the car. I think that he motion of a moving vehicle gives him sensory input that he craves. If he can listen to music that he likes, it's even better. If he has a big apple to gnaw on while listening to music (with no noisy little sisters in the car) then I'm almost guaranteed to have an extremely happy kid. Josh will just sit in his car seat in the back of my minivan, happily, quietly for a long time on a long car ride. The blessed silence is only punctuated by sudden random bursts of laughter and other sounds of joy and contentment. I feel like there is a sense of "freedom to just be" that I rarely have in my life and I am led into it by Josh. I am free to think my own thoughts or just space out. It's wonderful. It's like a sanctuary.
This is in contrast to being in the car with my two girls, age 3 and 4. They squabble. They comment about every possible thing that they see. ("Look Mama, a red car!") They ask questions that make me have to think a lot about how to respond. ("Mama, how old am I going to be when I go to heaven to see Papa?" or "Why did God put nails in Jesus' hands?") Car rides with the girls are on a spectrum of delightful to exhausting.
Of course, if I had a choice, I would prefer to have Joshua be able to fight with his sisters. It would be a dream to have him harass them as an older brother should. I would put up with a million irritating questions from him if I could. I yearn from the bottom of my heart to communicate more deeply with my son. However, this is not the hand that we've been dealt. Josh rarely uses his words, except to ask for things that he wants . . . and we are still working on that.
So, for now, I am learning to appreciate the upsides of who my son is. I do believe that it's a critical discipline to "count one's blessings". So here I am counting one of them. I love to ride in the car with my son.