Monday, August 5, 2013

riding without restraint

Best seat in the car.
I have a ten year old that can't sit in the front seat.  I often wish my youngest could join me up there.  I often feel like a taxi driver or chauffeur, having to communicate to my young one while glancing at her via the rear-view mirror.

When we were kids we could sit in the front seat with grown-ups.   Riding shotgun gave a kid the idea that he was really somebody.  You had full access to the radio, glove compartment and ash tray.   I don't remember wearing seat belts as a young'n.  Seat belts came later.  I remember always having the freedom to move about freely in the cabin if I had the inclination  If I ever got tired, I could just climb over into the back of our station-wagon and lay down.

Air Conditioning wasn't in the family cars we were hauled around in as a children.  We all just had to roll down the windows and try to appreciate the hot Summer breeze.  Maybe that's why folks were advertising their sodas, hotel rooms, and restaurants as ICE COLD!  Long trips could get pretty hot and sticky without A/C.  We lived without it in our transportation back then.  It's a creature comfort that I'd rather not do without these days.

 Not having a seat belt allowed children to stick most of our bodies outside the windows.  I wasn't one for grabbing for tree limbs and leaves that were within arm's reach outside the movie car.  I did like to stick my head out there and get that satisfying feeling of wind hitting my face.  Every now and then I'd get whacked by a passing bug.  Sticking appendages too far outside the window of a moving vehicle was something that would get a kid scolded.  Enjoy it until you are yanked inside.

One of my earliest members as a child was having my very own car seat with a steering wheel.  I remember sitting in the 'safety' chair and being able to turn the little steering wheel just like grown-ups.  There was also a little horn in the wheel that worked.  It didn't actually honk. It squeaked.  I remember when I got too big for it and not being able to play with it anymore.  My little sister Cindy got it after I did.  I remember feeling a little jealous of her because she could sit up there in my old driver's seat and drive the car.  

Strange what odd memory fragments we still have clinging to our brain.

So how safe is is this old child safety seat?
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