I work closely with children and their parents to provide parent education and attempt to help a family enhance their nurturing skills. The small glimpses into a child’s life (beyond parenting time) is something I have really come to enjoy. The car ride is a great opportunity to establish that extra bond with a child that allows them to feel relaxed during that time when they leave the foster parent to go visit their birth parent or vice versa.
I will never forget the Tuesday I transported an especially sweet, super kind little boy to a visit with his mom. This particular little boy (who is under the age of 8), seemed to always have a smile on his face. He looks for the best in the world and never seemed to have a bad day. If he does have a bad day, it is never hard to find something positive to re-focus his attention. I’ve worked with his family for several months. I have been lucky enough to get to take him to his visits with his mom and dad, which means we spend time in the car together weekly.
Every week on Tuesdays when I pick this child up from his foster family’s home, he greets me with a smile. I ask how his day was as I help him get all buckled safely into my car. He always shares some sort of story about his adventures with his foster siblings, their dogs, or what he did over the weekend. We talk about his excitement to see his mom or dad. He often tells me his hopes for each of the visits. One thing I noticed about this particular child is that he loves to listen to music. He often asks me to turn on his favorite songs in my car, which I happily oblige. This particular Tuesday, the song of choice he started with was “Happy” by Farrell Williams, which he stated was “one of his favorites”.
“Hey Siri, play the song ‘Happy’.” I spoke to my car speakers since I have Apple Car play and can put just about anything on my car radio—which the child thinks is SO COOL. As the music started to play I peeked in my rearview mirror and saw the child’s head bobbing as well as a big smile on his face. I cranked up the volume and nodded my head as well. Once the song was finished, I asked him if he liked it and he said, “Yeah, I love that song. This is so good to have that on! I am going to do this every time.” I asked him what he meant and he replied happily “when I am in your car, I like to listen to music. Can we do this every time on my way to my meetings?” (He calls his visits “meetings,” which is also an extra cuteness factor in my mind). I happily replied, “Buddy, we can listen to music any time you want!”. Playing music in my car seems to be something that this child thoroughly enjoys that we get to do together each week when I see him. Each week our primary focus with the child’s parents is parent education; but sometimes it’s the simple, fun little moments that seem to mean the most.