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Ah, the days of my youth! I was a THRILL-SEEKER, and didn’t even know it!
I may be aging myself here (and I seem to be doing that quite a lot), but when I was growing up, there WERE no seatbelts! Or at least, if there were, I don’t think we used them. But being the cautious soul that I am, I used to occasionally think what I would do in case of a car accident. With my super human speed, I would simply straighten out my arms, and…brace. Much like Hazel Twigg in Chapter 4.
In today’s world, of course seat belts are important! So far in the book, there seem to be a lot of vehicle references and illustrations, and I’ve made sure that seat belts are very much present, even asking Nina to add them to the first illustration in Chapter 1, when they weren’t readily apparent.
My son Adam bore the brunt of our cautiousness: We followed the guidelines, and he sat in a booster seat – a booster seat, mind you, not a car seat! We weren’t that cruel – long after his peers had forsaken theirs, until he was the recommended height to ride unadorned. Two cautious parents and a cautious child. Safe as cotton.
But back then! Back THEN. What do you do when you have a passel of seven kids and vans hadn’t been invented for familial use? Why, you get a Country Squire station wagon, of course! Look at this old ad:
WHAT?! “The rear of the wagon is a play area”?!! Certain death! But it was fun, that car. Those little jump seats. I remember them well:
The long road trips with no little portable DVD players or video games. Just chips and cookies and my mom with her ukelele and folk songs that we knew all the words to. And plenty of Volkswagon Beetles to spy. And fights aplenty as well, but that’s how we rolled. Wild. Free. Thrill-seeking. Without even knowing it.