Zee and I went on our first big road trip last Thursday. Having lived without a car in our nation’s great capital for the last nine years, I’d forgotten how much I really love driving. Not because I’m into cars, but because of the singing.
There is something so enjoyable about driving and singing isn’t there? And even better if you’re stuck in a traffic jam or driving through the streets with your favourite song cranked up and really singing your heart out. To passengers in other cars or passers-by it may look like you’re having some kind of fit or shouting at yourself, but who cares?
My current favourite song to drive to is Just Give Me A Reason by Pink and Nate Reuss off of Fun. Not only is it brilliant to sing loudly to, there are some really heartfelt lyrics in there that just cry out for some air clutching and gesticulating, in the spirit of some of our best Power Ballads moves. I was delighted on Thursday to be flicking through the stations and the opening notes of this little belter began. ‘Sit tight Zee!’ I warned my precious passenger, ‘Mummy’s going to SING!’
He didn’t have much to say to that. Probably because he can’t talk.
And there I was, singing away and wildly shaking my fist when the Sat Nav lady started barking her orders at me. ‘Sssshhhhhh!’ I exclaimed. ‘I’m SINGING!’ She was kind of ruining my moment. And just as I was about to reach my poorly-pitched high notes in the chorus, Sat Nav lady took her revenge. The whole Tom-Tom leapt from the windscreen and dangled down somewhere beneath the passenger seat. The bossy instructions kept coming though, but luckily by this point I knew exactly where I was.
Because I was on my way home.
Home at the moment is slightly hard to define. There’s London, which in my heart is my home; I was born there, my whole family is from there, I have lived there for nine years and we’re currently on a temporary break. The home where we live, where Zee was born and H spent his childhood is, according to H, my holiday home, because I am a Lady of Leisure there. ‘A lady of leisure!?!’ I indignantly replied. ‘I look after our baby every day. It’s bloody hard work!’ Although . . . I don’t have to go to work, Zee and I hang out with our friends, we go to the beach, we wander around the park and the shops, we go to baby massage (so relaxing it makes me sleepy, never mind Zee), it’s not exactly a chore. It’s tiring what with all the interrupted sleep, but it’s a blast.
And now here we are in the Midlands, at the home in which I feel so safe, relaxed, loved. We are chez Mum and Dad’s. As I pulled into the drive last week, I smiled and felt physically lighter as I knew that for the next few days, we would be so well looked after. I love seeing Zee with my parents, and with my brother and his family. There is the added bonus that a lot of my school friends are here too, and Sunday was spent introducing Zee to friends I have known for twenty years, which makes me feel incredibly old and happy at the same time. It’s pretty special to see the people you knew as kids with your own kid. I want Zee to have the same lasting relationships both H and I enjoy with our oldest friends. Just because we grow older and move away and live different lives, we don’t have to grow apart. That’s why I love coming home to this home.
Now I come with my miniature plus one, these journeys home no longer involve the iPod, the 19.30 from Marylebone and dad’s taxi at the other end. I am now the taxi and the DJ. I suspect as Zee grows older, the soundtrack will vary from Pink to Lily the Pink with some Baby Beluga and How Much Is That Doggy In The Window thrown in, but H and I will be sure to play him and any further sproglets a fine selection of our music too. That’s how I got to love Billy Joel, The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Simon and Garfunkel, Hall and Oates, Neil Sedaka (yes really) and so many more after all. The boy needs to appreciate the joys of car journeys and music. No matter which home we’re travelling to.