They are young enough to think that sitting in the way back is a treat. And indeed it is a treat because back there, they are together. Each secure in a sturdy seat with strong straps. There is but a small space between them. And they fill that space with toys and tales.
I saw a truck wearing a hat! the littler one croons.
That is not true! the older and wiser one proclaims, her voice laced with inchoate maturity. You are just telling a story!
From the rear of the bulky black vehicle, laughter rumbles and love can be heard. Their mother looks back and sees something wonderful; That they are holding hands, their arms stretched toward one another, their tiny fingers woven over the impasse between them. This makes her more than happy, this sight. She hopes that they will do this for a long time, holding hands through minutes of days and hours of rides and days of life.
This makes her more than happy, this sight. Because isn't this what we all want, and need, and hope for? That there is someone there, close by, a short space away, to hold our hand tight and tell us good stories, to remind us that in this big, bad, beautiful world, we are far from alone?
Whose hand did you hold once upon a time? Whose hand do you hold these days?