Tears and Laughter: Car seats bringing back memories

It wasn’t until the day was over and I had parked that I noticed they were with me. They were empty.

They made me turn around and do a double-take. It had been so long since two child safety seats were strapped into the backseat of my car.

Two of them.

In my backseat.


One for a toddler, one for an infant.

For years, that was my normal. I didn’t know what an empty backseat looked like. And, I didn’t want it any other way.

I must have really been just crazy about them because I kept them a part of my life by choice for almost 13 years, as were diaper bags and strollers and all of the contents that come along with them.

If you would like to try this arrangement for yourself, it’s easy. All you have to do is have four babies over a nin- year span and that should do it for you.

I very much enjoyed the kids when they were little. Everyone does. I still enjoy them of course, but they are little for such a short, fleeting time.

I didn’t realize it so much then, but I have since told people that the happiest days of my life were when I was a new mother and the girls were small and shared a room with two twin beds.

I would stand at the foot of their beds in the morning and watch them sleep.

Mothers do that.

Some dads do too if time allows them.

The matter of time is why I probably remember my first two sleeping peacefully more than I remember their younger brother and sister. By their arrival, life was busy. There was hardly time to think.

And somewhere in the day to day constant doing of life, just as subtly as the one safety seat had multiplied into two…the two slipped back to one and before long it was no longer necessary either.

Which left me with a wide-open backseat.

I remember noticing it one day in my rearview mirror after I had parked the car. I turned around to look at it. It looked new and foreign after not seeing it that way for all those years. It seemed vacant.

And in accepting that the phase of life involving little kids in safety seats were behind me, I wasn’t expecting to ever see them again. It wasn’t anything I had even thought about them. Until I noticed they were back.

This time around it is different. They are not permanent fixtures. I take them in and out as needed. But I might have been wrong about my happiest days being when my kids were little. I didn’t know to think ahead to grandchildren then.

Amanda Walker is a columnist with The West Al. Watchman, Al.com, The Thomasville Times, and The Wilcox Progressive Era – https://www.facebook.com/AmandaWalker.Columnist.