Car seats

“Every August, during the summer holidays, my parents, my brother, my sister and me went on our family vacation somewhere in southern Europe – the south of France, Italy, Spain.
We left late at night, hoping to beat the busy traffic usually occurring on the southbound highways of France during daytime. Sleeping throughout the night, my siblings and I hardly noticed the progress my father was making. When we woke up early in the morning, stiff in the neck from the uncomfortable sleep, we suddenly were somewhere completely else. Inevitably, though, we did end up in the first traffic jams of that day. Dazed from the uncomfortable sleep, cramped in the always-too-small or always-too-hard car seats, feeling the first warmth of the morning sunbeams that promised an unbearable heat, the ride was starting to get uncomfortable for us. Irritations on the backseat were soon to follow. Even though I know this was the reality, even though I know the travelling part was always the worst of the vacation, over the years, these long southbound rides have become some of my dearest memories of my childhood. The nuisances have been replaced by harmonizing images of us together in the car, of us sometimes talking, enjoying music, being together. More importantly, the ride down south in the car came to symbolize the inexplicable bond I share with my family, a bond you are not yet aware of when you are sitting in the car for hours on end as a young kid, but it is precisely through such experiences that this relationship can grow, and, at an older age, become almost palpable.”

Lucas, 29
Gent, Belgium
March 2019