Riding In Cars With Boys

Dear Arvind,

On Thursday, the entire family will attend your kindergarten graduation ceremony. This is it. You’re done. You’ve been wanting to be done with kindergarten since you discovered the concept of Proper School and you’ve been prepping for that since August last year.

You may not miss KG too much, as eager as you are to move on, but I’m going to miss our car rides. Your new school is just a minutes drive and a five minute walk. The KG being a good 20 minute drive away meant that we could enjoy our two favourite things – driving and music – together. Any crappy morning could be salvaged by those minutes in the car with you. With you picking out the song that was going to make this a great day.

One those occasional days when I had time to plan, I would pick out a song I wanted you to listen to. We had an interesting couple of weeks with the “Queen Lectures”, where we went over Queen’s songs one by one and I told you about Freddie Mercury and what each song meant to me. In ways which a six-year old could almost understand.

Arvind: Mamma, is he the guy who sang in his undies?

Me: Yes, occasionally.

Arvind: Why did he do that?

Me: Why? Because he was Freddie. He was a brilliant performer. Freddie was magic and people loved his music so much that they didn’t care if he sang in his undies.”

I love it that you are the kind of kid who just gets this stuff. You’re the Phoebe to my Holden Caulfield.

You knew Life Is A HighWay and Funkytown way before Disney made it cool. You can almost tonguetwist your way around You Spin Me Right Round.

You love ABBA, Boney M, Van Halen, Def Leppard and Starship. We almost swerved off the road once, belting out, “We Built This City”. You in the backseat, in a small voice saying, ” Did you almost kill us, Mamma?”

You adore anything by Norah Jones because you know that is what I sang to you when you were a baby.

This was our time, totally in sync with each other. “Quality time” cannot possibly cover how much I treasured it. No matter how much we had fought the evening before, coming morning, come car-ride, everything was forgiven and forgotten.

No matter how much you roll your eyes otherwise, in the car, I’m cool. You are impressed by how I know all the lyrics to every single song you love. Even your new Camp Rock stuff. I will never forget the day, about a year ago, when looked at me with your earnest eyes and asked me,

Mamma, do know every single song in the whole world?

And then when you found out that I used to sing in a college-band,

Were you a real, real rockstar?

Errr. C’mon, even mothers need to be impressive heroes sometimes:-)

Our music, our drives, its going to be a part of who we are. It already plays a role in how we relate and how we understand each other. How can I express how it feels when you get why I tear up at this song and countless others?

I will miss the casual chats about our day in our car. The “Best Of” and “Worst Of” of each day. The occasional sombre talk about Why Parents Can Fight Sometimes And Why It’s Okay. The way you immediately perk up and wonder aloud if I had a bad day when you see me rub my temples. Endless questions about the universe that I can never answer, but which never bug me as long as I’m relaxed behind the wheel.

Arvind: How come you don’t know how far it is from the sun to the earth?

Me: I’ve forgotten. I have no idea right now. But I love you to the moon and back! (lamely)

Arvind: D-uh! Thats from Guess How Much I Love You.

Well baby, thanks to you, I now know that its a whopping 150 million kilometres to the sun.

I know we will still have our chats. And we will continue to go on drives, just me and you. Because in the cool interiors of this car, its magic. Just like Freddie at Wembley.


This one is for you, so that we can both remember, many years down the line, the song we looped continuously on this last week driving to KG. The song we’re currently crazy about. Hey, I never said we listen to age-appropriate music. We just go with what we love!


Filed under Arvind, Motherhood

16 responses to “Riding In Cars With Boys

  1. Awww, that was a sweet post, MGM.

    Congrats to the big boy on graduating KG and moving on “Proper School.” 🙂

  2. that was so adorable. it’s wonderful that you had the opportunity to build these memories with your son. reminds me so much of the things i used to do, and still do with my own brats… the rides, the music, the best of/worst of which we call ‘mullum malarum’ (thorns and roses)

    am sure you’ll have many many more ahead. congratulations on his moving to ‘real’ school

  3. aaaw. you have me smiling on a terrible tuesday morning. thanky.

  4. Meluhhan

    Freddie was awesome! The boy has taste. I want to go to Stockholm for the opening of the Abba museum but I love my Brit boy rock. Coz ABBA girls rock!!

  5. Era

    May you both carry the magic of these moments together for the rest of your lives. You were a rockstar in college! How cool.

  6. A truly magical post.
    May you enjoy many happy drives with Arvind anyway.

  7. Cecilie M

    I love it!

    Although my car & music rides with the girls isn’t as evolved as yours, I also have a little Kari who wonders how Mommy knows so many lyrics and how did I learn all of those? So cute.

    My kids have certainly figured out the magic powers of music: If I pick them up tired and cranky and they’re not listening which makes me even more tired and cranky – and consequently barking away in the car you’re sure to hear from the backseat: “why don’t you put some music on Mommy!” And I do. And then we holler along to the music, and by the time we get home all seems well in the world again 🙂

  8. Medha

    Chooo chweeet! 🙂

  9. am back to riding with my children to school instead of kicking them out of the house and snuggling back under the covers. thanks 🙂

  10. Anj

    Happy Graduation day Arvind! How are those flood gates holding Shalini? First of MANY Shalini (note emphasis)..take heart!! :).

  11. chuchu

    The more I’m reading,the more I’m loving… and here I was thinking no-one after my generation appreciated Freddy and co.!great taste,I must say…I managed to convert my teens when they were also younger and they have all these downloaded onto their iPods.

  12. MGM

    @Ersa: Thank ye. Will pass on your good wishes to Arvind:-)

    @Magical summer: Thanks for dropping by. And thanks for your good wishes. yes, I do feel blessed having him at all… and I love the Mullum-malarum:-) Sounds so much better than the way I phrased it:-)

    @Richa: Glad to be able to make you smile:-)

    @Meluhhan: Freddie? And ABBA? How much more can i bear to have in common with you, dear?;-)

    @Era: Thanks, luv. And rockstar? Errrr… I belted out some Madonna a couple of times – do I qualify?

    @Dipali: Thanks, Dipali.

    @Cecilie: Yup, no doubt its the ultimate cure for all ails -a good sing-along in the car!!!

    @Medha: 🙂

    @Magical summer: Awww. I’m glad:-)

    @Anj: Flood gates will hold like the levees in New Orleans in the face of Katrina:-) He has been practising bowing and receiving the diploma all evening:-( I can take it any more!

    @Chuchu: What? *faints horrified* Freddie is not cool anymore? The world must be falling apart faster than I thought!

  13. What a lovely lovely post!!! Here’s to new school and new music!

  14. MGM

    @Dotmom: Hey, thanks:-)

  15. Waaah!! Tell these kids to stop growing up on us. Mine’s going to Junior school in September and I am SO not prepared. You know what you gotta do to ward of the weepies, dont ya? Have a baby!!

  16. @DG: WHAT? Another child and another set of milestones to weep over? I’ll cover the whole Viking in latex if I have to, but ain’t going there!:-)

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