By Jennie Montgomery


It’s funny how one quick glimpse of an image can bring back memories that have been stored away for years. I was dodging-darting lane changers and drifting semis on I-85 in Charlotte, when I saw an SUV with bikes attached to the back. Instantly I felt a thud in the middle of my back…a phantom thud, if you will.

That family with bikes looked beach-bound for spring break; I was getting my college freshman for spring break.

Those bikes + Sky Baby = Hilton Head Island.

When our kids were little, we spent lots of time on bikes at HHI. I’ll never forget how funny the kids looked in rental helmets. You see, those rentals are basically round sturdy white Styrofoam—twice the size of a toddler’s head! Scott and I cracked up and took many pictures our kids in those E.T. helmets.

Getting ready for a family ride with a 1, 2 and 3-year-old required teamwork. We had to adjust everyone’s helmets, strap the older two into Scott’s “toddler trailer,” and then buckle Sky into the baby seat on my bike.

Finally, we were ready to explore bike paths and wide sandy beaches!

We’d never get very far, it seemed, when I’d feel it…the thud against my back. The very first time it happened I was all, “Oh no! What is that?” because I couldn’t see behind my back.
Scott hollered back, “She’s out.”

BOOM. Just like that, Sky Baby was out like a light. We hadn’t gone a half-mile and she was fast asleep! She napped for most of the bike ride and I got used to the constant vibration of her helmet-head on my back.

It wasn’t a one-time thing. That baby girl never experienced a full bike ride awake! I could always count on the sudden thud in the middle of my back.

I smile to myself—in spite of the hectic traffic—because 18 years later not much has changed. I know once my college freshman gets in the car and buckles her seat belt, it won’t be long until she’s fast asleep.g
Good thing I’ll be the one driving!

JENNIE Montgomery anchors the evening news at WJBF-TV. She and her husband, Scott, have three children: Zack, 21, Maddy, 20, and Sky, 19.

This article appears in the April 2015 issue of Augusta Family Magazine.
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