View From The Front Seat

By Maryann Makekau


As I headed into a store to get some Pink wrapping and ribbon, I overheard a familiar conversation. A family was making their way through the parking lot when I heard one of their boys say, “It’s my turn to sit up front!” Growing up with four siblings, I remember the distinctive privilege of getting to sit up front.

Riding in the front seat meant a better view and temporary control of the radio. Those were such important perks that we kept careful count of who sat up front last, and anxiously awaited the rotation for another turn. Some things are as important to kids today as they were decades ago.

As I reflected on that boy’s smile and anticipation about riding in the front seat, the “package details” were revealed to me. Sitting in the front seat means an unobstructed view. With glass on three sides, you can see the road ahead, what’s passing by and what’s coming next. Being in the front seat means you’ve grown enough to use an adult seatbelt. Protection is built into the package—beyond the seat belt there are front and side airbags to reduce harm, just in case. And the radio, CD player and climate control buttons are plush extras.

Those package details are important enough for kids to keep track of whose turn it is, and they’ve done so for generations. As parents, it’s our job to take precautions to protect our children while encouraging them to grow physically, emotionally and spiritually. Being a front seat passenger celebrates growth with privileges! As with many privileges there comes risk. Despite the sturdy seatbelts and multiple airbags, a conscientious driver is the ultimate wrapping of safety.

When children are afforded the full view, they’re happier. When they’re given the privilege of handling control buttons, they learn to value choices. Putting a child in the driver’s seat would be unfathomable, but they can sure learn a lot by sitting in a passenger’s seat with all the perks!

When our drive through life takes an unexpected turn, it’s important to remember that children learn from those turns just like adults do. While children don’t need to know every miniscule detail, they do need to see, feel, and learn through the hard turns—alongside a trusted, well-equipped adult. When children are included in a parent’s journey through cancer, they’re afforded a front seat view. Being an active participant in the healing process by helping, sharing and doing allows children to grow—physically, emotionally and spiritually.

As I left the store with my Pink wrap and ribbon in hand, I smiled about the “package details.” When I receive a request for a signed Little Pink Book, it’s like being given a window view. Dedicating a book means that I’m helping, sharing and doing along someone’s healing path. It’s a privilege to make a difference, no matter how small. And that makes my day; I feel like a child celebrating the privilege of sitting in the front seat!

Maryann Makekau, Author & Inspirational Speaker



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