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I have passengers from time to time.
Usually its my side kick sister.  Crimson streaks mixing with the chocolate curls cascading around her face.  Whenever she's in town, we do life together.  Simple life.  Like grocery store runs in shorts and hoodies in the deep dark of night.  Our rides could aptly be filed Various and Sundry.
She's just in on my life and I'm comfortable with it. We discuss all her new ideas, new phases and all mine in between my three jumping on her and her dancing with them.
There's always those moments when she gets her mom on and raises her dark eye brows in a perfect do-not-mess with me arch.  And the girls know.  Aunt Chica got her mom on.
I've had other side kick passengers too, like Sarah girl.
We have discussed many things while whisking around in the car.  Death's icy grip of guilt, boyfriends, dreams, etc.  She's always got one of my babies on her hip as she deftly navigates parks with me and we eat a 'kiddie picnic' with the girls.
She's along for the ride and its cool.
I don't have to worry about the crayons embellishing my floorboard and I don't have to worry about how loud we are having to talk because Meredith is requesting more Adventures in Odyssey.
"Mom, I cannot hear it" she calls out from the recesses of the back seat and Sarah and I talk louder over the speakers.
Sarah starts and then once again we hear, "Mom its too cold."
I flip the air conditioner off.
Within two minutes, "Mom it is so hot. I'm so hot."
I flip the switch.
The war of the two sisters is on.  One always too cold, the other too hot.
Last night as we rode home from church I jokingly quipped to Sarah, "I know what menopause feels like.  This car is like a menopausal mini van." She couldn't quit laughing.  And its true.
I get more hot flashes riding around trying to meet fluctuating temperature needs and then defrost my confused window shield.
Sarah laughs and smiles and she still shares her heart.
We discuss amid the cacophony  of life her mom's four year anniversary ...of death.  And what that now looks like for Sarah. We discuss where she is in handling it all.  And the end is good.
As she leaves I hug her long and I'm so glad she was along for the ride.
We need passengers like that in the car ride of our every day life.
I need them.
Of course not most people can be them, but there are a couple, a few. Right in my corner of life.
People that no pretense is needed, just straight up real Sonic styrofoam cup cherry coke in one hand and let me help you with your diaper bag life in the other.
Sarah and Aunt Chica are those people for me.
I want to be that person too.
That person that is welcoming and unpretentious enough to be a happy passenger along real life.
Another thing I am reminded of.
I want to be the passenger along this life road with Jesus.  As He navigates oh so much better than I and witnesses all the good, bad, loud, ugly, and beautiful in my life.  Even if I must talk to Him over squabbling children and celebrate every day joys with Him.
I'm learning that with people and with God there is rarely an ideal time, just real time to make the most of.  To seize the moment in. Real time in a real life that I must focus in on and invest in the relationships right in front of me.  Relationships to make the most of even in the seemingly ordinary moments that they occur in.  That even in this car with all that is going on, these moments can be sacred.
You see back three years ago when I decided to ask Sarah to be my passenger I never glimpsed the friendship that would bloom, the depth of relationship.  Had I waited for a perfect time in my life or decided that this simply wasn't ideal for my toddler filled life, I would have missed out on so much.  So would my girls who love her and sweetly gave her our last name to share, because she feels like family to them.
We all need passengers to help share the load, to make the day sweeter, to laugh hysterically over our daily ups and downs, to do life with.  


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