The Drive Home, a Collective Memory

Driving home from grandma’s house after Thanksgiving meal yesterday, I watched the faint glow of a kid’s movie, playing above the dashboard inside the minivan we were trailing. I felt so much peace staring at some stranger’s tiny screen, imagining the volume turned up slightly to drown out the beat of tires on the highway. I couldn’t even make out characters, let alone any distinguishable storyline, but a warmth spread into my chest. I thought how we are all connected to this driver, whether through childhood memories of backseat boredom or through attempts at entertaining our own tiny children on long car rides. For one extended moment in time, I was thankful to be part of some stranger’s holiday memory, thankful to have my own child falling asleep in his carseat, still gripping the dried candle wax grandma had given him after the meal had ended.

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