Why some kids just will not sleep in the car (an explanation)

There is something truly magical about driving at night that one simply cannot understand unless doing so. I say this, and yet it is not quite what I really mean. You see, to experience the amazing moment the way I believe one should, you cannot be driving. It would place too much at risk; it would leave this perfect moment vulnerable and therefore ruined by the prospect of worry.

I like to use the example of when I was younger, around eight or nine years old, and sat in the backseat. Not only is staying up later than your bedtime one of the most exciting prospects when young, but a whole new world is opened up and begging for you to explore. With my nose pressed up against the window, the reflections of the dashboard filling the window with reds and blues, I could see the glistening stars, each as a small flicker standing constant in a world which was yet to stand still. But being so young the stars held so much more hope than I could ever have imagined. Looking out, my view on life was ever changing. Some nights, I could sit having conversations through my mind to them as if they were the remaining energy and brain power of lost relatives. Other nights, the full moon brought me hope that there was life in the black abyss that meant I didn’t have to feel quite so alone. Moving school every two years or so had truly taken its toll on my friendship-making skills.

The sky, however, was not the key to my enjoyment of driving at night. For me, driving during the day held stress and verbal anger at its forefront. Each vehicle an irate machine that fed on the heat and the anxiety. But as soon as the sky faded to the beautiful shades of navy blue and purple, the metal monsters transformed into leather bound book covers, and I was more than eager to learn the stories. Each pair of tired knuckles grasping at the steering wheel as midnight drew ever nearer entranced me like nothing else could. The lulling white noise, often accompanied by the classical music favoured by my parents, made the perfect backdrop for an evening or story creating. The young man in his army uniform, sat regimented in his seat with bloodshot, weathered eyes, preparing for his flight whilst his heart remained at home. The rows of children asleep on the shoulders of their companions as they journeyed home from their first residential trip. Every truck parked up for the night as the curtains are drawn around the cab and the driver kisses his wife goodnight as she stands next to him, frozen in time. How could I ever have slept in the car when I had people to create adventures for!

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