My mom drove a 1976 Buick LaSabre. It was enormous and blue. I sat in the front, with no seat belt.
If my mom had to make a hard stop, she threw her arm across my chest to prevent my head from slamming into the (airbag-less) dash. This made me feel loved and protected.
Today, we strap Nora into her expensive carseat and she screams that she is not going to be our friend anymore.
But on the bus, it’s the seventies again. Nora has freedom of movement in a motor vehicle and I get to do the mom arm trick. I am ever vigilant. If the bus lurches, I fling out my arm like a stop arm, saving Nora’s forehead from hard plastic seat back.
I don’t think I’ll ever completely understand why buses don’t have seatbelts — what with driver’s with an axe to grind and a less than perfect maintenace schedule. But I guess everything dangerous was discovered in the seventies and remedied during the eighties, so I should just relax and enjoy the ride. Except for one tense arm.