Roll The Windows Down

the road

His birthday was a day away and yet here he was making demands. You haven’t blown your candles out yet. You’re still three for a few more hours. Besides, I am the one in the driver’s seat. Don’t forget, it was only yesterday that you had to be buckled into a car seat. So settle down. I decide when the windows are down. Not you.

This sermon sounded very authoritative in my head, but in all actuality the words never left my lips. I did tell my three-year old son that we weren’t rolling the windows down. We were driving on a major highway and I am a windows up/ac kinda guy. But then I remembered that the child safety lock for the windows and doors was broken.

So I had a decision to make. I could continue to battle my three-year old son, or I could let him win. I chose the latter. We only had another fifteen minutes to drive anyway. Plus a little wind in my hair and some extra noise wasn’t going to kill me.

The windows went down. The music went up. And for the next fifteen minutes my son and I became a two-man rock band that would’ve rivaled any Big Hair Band of the 80’s. Or at least we thought so. You should have seen us. Maybe you did. We wouldn’t have known. We were in our own little world.

We sang. No, we bellowed three, maybe four songs at the top of our lungs down Route 50 as if to a sold out stadium. Every once in a while I would sneak a glance in the rear view mirror, and just as I suspected, we were bobbing our heads in unison. It didn’t matter that we didn’t know all of the words. We felt every last one of them. It was one of the most beautiful moments I have ever shared with my son.

And to think I almost didn’t roll the windows down. Because I thought I knew what was best. Who knows more about having fun? A 44-year-old who’s scared to go out on a dance floor, or a three-year old who can talk to plastic action figures?

I continue to write about how we must listen to what our kids have to say and yet it is as if I am not reading my own posts. I am sure the fifteen minute drive would have been fine with the windows up. But as I already mentioned, I am 44 years old. It is about time I start aiming for more than fine.

“If you hold on to the handle, she said, it’s easier to maintain the illusion of control. But it’s more fun if you just let the wind carry you.”

Brian Andreas


  1. You nailed it again, Jon. If there’s a parent who can’t relate to this story, I want to meet him or her. These beautiful memories will last much longer than the 15 minutes of driving with the windows up – another reminder for me as my oldest is getting ready to graduate high school. Thank you for sharing!

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