Car, kids, kismet: When the magic happens

If you enter a car with an open heart, a sense of adventure, and your favourite people, little bits of magic happen. Usually you have to watch carefully for it, because magic is rarely easy, but sometimes things just fall together to make you smile. Or guffaw. Or pull over because you can’t see for laugh-tears.

The kids and I were off on a short jaunt, with Trevor up front already making me laugh: “Fleet Rd? Why would they call it that? It already ends with EET — they kind of have to call it Street, right? … Wait, we just crossed Robinson Ave. If it crosses an avenue, it has to be a street!

“Wait, Geography Boy, is that a thing?”

“It is in New York! That’s how I survive!”

“Randall!” I hollered, as we’d been a little lost and I’d just seen a street I recognized.

“Who the hell is Randall? Why is he in trouble? That’s your mad parent voice. Randall!”

So as you see, things can get out of hand quickly when it’s just the kids and I. Not my fault, really — they’re totally insane.

Then there’s Jilly in the back seat. She’s three a half, you’ll remember, so like Trev (who’s 19), she knows everything. She sits back there and shouts out orders more convoluted than the GPS that has it out for me: “Turn right, Mum. Did you turn right? Can you turn right? Is that man going to tell you to turn left?”

Mostly, as with the GPS, I tell her I’m turning right and then do a thing with the car that won’t get us killed. But there are certain things I’ll do just to keep her happy.

“Push the black button, Mum.”

“What black button?”

“That one.”

I couldn’t see what she was pointing at, because she sits behind me and I like keeping my eye on the road, but I hovered my hand over the silent radio and said, “This one?”


I hit it and this came up:

car radio bass

“That’s just to adjust your bass,” I said.

It was quiet for a second, so I pushed the other button, to turn the radio on. And what was playing?

All About That Bass.

Trev and I looked at each other in awe. We high-fived. He said something like, “Is that for real?” Jilly sang along. Magic.


Downside? Jilly thinks I have an All That Bass button on my radio. Gonna go buy me a copy of that right now …


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