Waking up in the Backseat with Everyone Laughing…

When I was younger, my grandfather owned an Oldsmobile dealership. Growing up I would see him drive several different cars over the years but the one car that was his favorite was his 1969 Oldsmobile 98. It was parked in their driveway with a car cover over it and it only came out for special occasions.

We lived in California and we had an Aunt that lived with her family in Idaho. Every few years my grandparents would drive out to Idaho to visit them and that was one of the few occasions that the 98 would be driven. Because of that, the car was called “the Idaho car”.

One year my mother and my older brother and I joined them for the over 600 mile trip to Idaho during summer break. I was around 10 years old and my brother was 12 at the time. It was a very long trip with my grandfather taking on all of the driving duties during the entire trip. He wasn’t keen on anyone else driving this car. He truly babied this car and took great care of it.

During this trip we would play games and talk and sometimes just sit in silence watching the landscape on Highway 80 pass by. Of course my brother and I would take turns napping during this long journey.

During one of my naps, I was woken up by shaking and muffled laughter. I must have been pretty deep in sleep because I remember being very disoriented when I woke up. The first thing I noticed was my mother and brother laughing. They weren’t so much outright laughing but they were trying to stifle their laughter (and not doing a great job at it) and that was what was causing the shaking I felt.

As I looked at them the first thought that came to my young mind was, “They are laughing at me!”. There was no other feasible answer to what was going on. I was taken aback a bit. Why are they laughing at me? I wasn’t too happy about this turn of events and I wasn’t going to let this pass.

“Why are you laughing? What’s so funny?” I demanded. My mother motioned to me to be quiet (using a kind of shush motion) as her and my brother looked at each other in a kind of shock. The look of being caught doing something that you weren’t supposed to be doing. I was emboldened by the way they were reacting. I felt like I caught them laughing at me and they knew it was wrong! That had to be what was going on. The only reasonable explanation.

As I was slowly coming fully awake I looked around the car and saw the bigger picture. Some kind of grand drama was playing itself out around me that I had no real part in. I mean I didn’t until I woke up and started on my own narrative about what was taking place and had somehow added to the drama that had been playing out prior to me waking up.

It was at this point of clarity that I noticed that my grandfather was absolutely fuming with anger. He was clearly upset and then I saw my  grandmother in the passenger seat sitting there and she was upset herself. It wasn’t anger but embarrassment and she was shaken.

She was also holding the sun visor from her side of the car.

She had been trying to adjust the sun visor to keep the glaring Nevada sun out of her eyes and it had come off in her hands.

My grandfather was upset that she had “broken” his favorite car. The visor could easily be pushed back on but at that moment that wasn’t going to be a consideration.

My grandmother was concerned with upsetting my grandfather. The fact that her daughter and grandson were stifling laughter at her expense didn’t sit well with her either.

My role in all of this was that I came into an environment and situation that I had no idea what was going on and had made it about me and my insecurities. Making the real situation (which had nothing to do with me) worse.

How often can that happen to us in this life? We may find ourselves in situations that are not of our concern but we interject ourselves into it because we think we can help but we aren’t sure of what is actually happening so then we are not offering a true solution.

We may find ourselves in a situation where we are well meaning and truly want to help but once again, if we don’t have a full understanding then we would probably be best off stepping back until we had a clear idea of what the reality of the situation is.

This can show up in our lives as well. We may find ourselves in certain situations where we make decisions without an awareness of the true nature of all of the facts.  In this case and in the case of that 10 year old boy, it would probably be better to take a moment and step back and observe our situation and take a more informed course of action.

As I write this it is with a huge amount of compassion for that 10 year old boy who woke up in a very adult set of circumstances.  I am also chuckling as I remember that day in Nevada so many years ago. I reached out to my brother to tell him I was writing about this and I was laughing the whole time.

I think it is very important to have humor in our lives as we process these things from our past or when we are dealing with circumstances in our current life where we are learning lessons.

And always with a lot of compassion. Compassion for others as they go on their journey and a lot of self compassion as we go along our path.

Grandpa, grandma and mom all passed many years ago. As I write this and remember that trip I remember them all fondly and with a lot of love.


Jason Jurado
Jason Jurado
Jason is the owner of One Path Coaching where he works with clients to support them in designing and living the life they desire. Jason has had two major passions for as long as he can remember; supporting others on their personal journey and writing. Jason's earliest story was written about a trip his family took to visit his grandmother in the hospital when he was in the third grade. He has continued to write travel stories, fiction, and poetry throughout his life. Since he has gone full-time with his business over the past year he has been writing articles about mental health, wellness, and spirituality and posting them on his social media accounts.  Jason discovered meditation at a very young age through his martial arts practice and has continued to study and practice mindfulness and meditation since then. After graduating High School Jason joined the U.S Marine Corps and spent five years traveling the world. During that time he was stationed in Japan and continued his education there. After getting out of the Marine Corps, Jason went into Retail leadership where he was also an area manager, and trainer and worked as part of the regional HR team. The experience he gained in these roles supports his work in teaching others about leadership and how to improve their communication skills. Jason’s formal training is in Neuro-Linguistics (NLP), Hypnosis, Time Line Therapy, and Recently Polyvagal Theory. This year, Jason has done several podcasts and video interviews about stress management and anxiety relief and also talked about how people can use NLP to live the life they desire. In October of 2022, Jason will be part of the NLP Master Summit.

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    • Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. I appreciate the support. I agree that there was a lot more going on than my 10 year old self was tuned into at the time. They were born in 1913 and 1915 (this story was in the late 70’s) so their generation was not one for conversations about feelings and emotions. (in general). Loved them both and learned many lessons (positive and otherwise) from them.