My backseat photographers

The boys and I spend a fair amount of time in the car—and it’s a special time. Sometimes we complain about which Star Wars song to listen to, or whether we should take “the long sneaky back way,” or which child Mama should drop off first.
But even if we’re arguing about who saw the cement mixer first, there’s always a sense that we’re in this together. There are also some wonderfully intimate moments—times when the boys ask questions that are easier to toss at the back of Mama’s head than face-to-face. Some of those questions are easier to answer in the car, too.
Still, because I’m usually driving, our car rides aren’t typically captured by the camera.
Until now.
The other morning we were on our way to school, and I handed my camera to Leo so he could look at a picture I had taken.
You can guess what happened next.
Our almost-6-year-old became a photographer. And his brother was happy to join in the fun.
They were giggling up a storm, taking silly pictures together, and trying to get shots of everything they saw.
Many of the photos are terrible.
Some are actually sweet.
And I enjoyed clicking through them, getting a glimpse into the perspective of a passenger, enjoying the ride on the way to school.
Over the past few years we have spent a lot of time in the car. Even now that we have moved closer to my work and the boys’ schools, and our commute is much, much shorter, we are still often on the go.
So I’m in the car a lot. But I’m not often in the back seat.
I had no idea what these images would include—or whether the camera would survive the ordeal, but it did. And I enjoyed seeing what my sons see—and what they thought was worthy of a photograph.
When I saw the pictures they took of me, I was struck by the enormous responsibility I am taking on every time I buckle them into their seats.
Seeing how they view me was humbling. They trust me. They have complete faith that I will get them safely to their destination.
But they don’t think I’m nearly as interesting as the Cat in the Hat.
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Catholic Review

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.