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The Gift that Keeps on Giving


Forget the flowers, pass on the pens: I have a suggestion for the perfect Mother's Day gift: A privacy screen that separates the driver from the passengers (you know, like the ones you see in limousines).

And for those of you nay-sayers who are thinking, "Oh come on, riding in a car with your kids can't be all that bad," I say you've never spent more than two minutes in a car with children under the age of five and have never been close to a car full of children with just one adult. It's like watching a Discovery Channel special during Shark Week. Trying to drive and keep the chaos raging freely in the back seat at bay - even a short, 10-minute jaunt to the store can bring an average adult to his or her knees within seconds.

As a mom who spends probably 85 percent of her "mommying" time carting kids from one end of town to the other, this would be the ultimate gift Ė the one that keeps on giving the whole year through. Tears come to my eyes when I think about the possibilities: the chance to listen to music at a normal decibel level (as opposed to the cranked-up volume I often resort to, just to drown out the yelling and crying from the back seat); the opportunity to arrive at my destination with my makeup intact (as opposed to it being streaked all down my cheeks from tears of frustration); no more stumbling out of the car wild-eyed and hoarse from screaming "You kids need to STOP SCREAMING!!! I can't CONCENTRATE on the road with ALL THIS SCREAMING!!! "

Can you think of a better way to say, "Mom, you're the best?"

I also think the privacy screen would be a good safety feature especially for moms of small children. I know the number of accidents caused by moms trying to reach all the way back to the third row seats in a Suburban to separate fighting children would go waaaaay down. And, I can't tell you the number of times I was whacked in the back of the head with a shoe, pacifier, super ball, juice box, etc. There were many days when I arrived at our destination looking and feeling like I'd been beaten tender like a cheap steak.

The only draw back to the privacy screen would be the fact that you'd still be able to see what's going on in the back seat. Red faces, quivering lips, mouths wide open with silent screams; all still completely visible. But, that's probably for the best - we need to be able to see when blood is spilled, so we can pull over before the carnage gets too far out of control.

A few years ago, I actually asked someone who is in the mobile/audio car business about the possibility of installing a privacy screen in my Suburban. I'll never forget the way he looked at me sideways, mentally judging my insaneness level on a scale of one to 10, then just laughed and turned away.

That young man walked away from a million-dollar business opportunity that day, because when you think about it, what is the value of a mom's peaceful, easy feeling? Priceless, I'd say.

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