A magic space

Last week, it rained for 64 hours straight.

On Monday, after 30 hours of rain, I found myself sitting in the car with Kiddo#4, in a parking lot, waiting for Kiddo#3 to finish up an activity. Yes, there’s a waiting area, but no, Kiddo#4 wanted nothing to do with it. So in the car we sat.

Kiddo#4 finds it hilarious to sit in other people’s seats. “I be seat guy!” and then “I Dada!” or “I Kiddo#1!” It wasn’t long until, “Momma, you be Dada,” and I’d go sit in various places to be our different family members.

As I perched in Kiddo#3’s car seat, I thought about how small the minivan felt, but then I had another thought: when I was a kid, I’d have loved a sheltered space in the rain. I remember playing with the neighbor’s daughter on Grandma E’s front porch , not that much bigger than the minivan, and for us, it was a palace. We’d run from her palace to mine. Or we were superheroes, and these were our fabulous lairs.

Or Grandma L’s front stoop, again tiny but with its twisty corners around the french windows, perfect for imaginary rooms and secret passages.

Kiddo#4 climbed into the driver’s seat to be Momma, and Momma went into the third row of seating. I removed the booster seat and tossed it into the trunk area, then pulled the lever to flatten the seat. Then I climbed onto the seat and curled up as if I were sleeping.

Kiddo#4 started to laugh. “I want go bed!”  So I climbed down into the trunk well and sat in the booster seat on the floor while he laid down on the platform created by the third row of seats.

I had a magic castle right there, a palace or a superhero lair. There’s no reason my car has to be a car, not if it’s a rainy day and we’re stuck in it for fifteen minutes. Why sit in the seats when with a little reconfiguration we can climb, lie down, or divide it into small rooms?

On a rainy day in a parking lot, why should I be an adult?

Ten minutes later, Kiddo#3 saw what I’d done and shrieked with delight. He climbed into the back, tussled with his brother, and didn’t want to return to simply sitting in a booster seat even though I won’t drive without him in one. He’d decided a magical lair is much more fun than a car.

And I think, to some extent, I agree.


  1. Ken Rolph

    When we had out printing factory we had a Mazda van. It a bench seat behind the front and a flat bed behind that. It had small wheels, so the back space was big enough to slide a fridge into. We used to go on picnics in the rain along the beach. We would just flip the back door up and all sit in the back looking out at the rain. There was enough room for two adults and two children to sit comforably.

    We also used to deliver print jobs, but that wasn’t quite as much fun.

    1. philangelus

      LOL! No, I imagine it wouldn’t be. But it’s nice to sit in a hollowed-out van with the back door open. 🙂

  2. Illya

    What imagination! So fortunate that the baby has someone who allows his imagination to run free!

    1. philangelus

      Or, someone just as immature to emulate. 🙂