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Along for the Ride

Chany Rosengarten

Some people think we have our white van because we travel a lot. That’s their mistake, because aside from carpool, my mother avoids driving us like she avoids cottage cheese. She usually leaves us home and calls Nina. Nina is the babysitter worth staying awake for.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

car vav

Nina teaches us games. Like I Spy and Cops and Robbers. Those are the basics she started off with. But with Nina, it isn’t just Cops and Robbers. We become midnight burglars in a silent, dark room and she plays the role of a determined local policeman. When we play I Spy, we don’t just spy red and lavender. We spy something that smells of fried goldfish mixed with vinegar.

You get the picture. By the time Nina wants us tucked in bed, under our blankets, we’re hoarse from laughter and drop into a sleep where smiles drip-drop on our faces until the dreams arrive.

Nina couldn’t believe my mother never drives us anywhere.

“You have this fancy van and you only use it in the morning to get to school?” she asked, her eyes and mouth round. We looked up to her tall face and to my mommy’s, silently backing Nina and praying for a miracle.

“My kids don’t like to travel. One of them gets carsick. The other one cries, the third one just wants to go home.” Mommy stretched out her hands in an elaborate shrug, as if to say, “What can I do about it?”

“You can take me along. I’ll watch them. You’ll drive,” Nina said simply. 


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