Of Cars, Kids, and One Big Honkin’ Metaphor
I am not a car guy.
There are plenty of shiny, expensive objects I lust after, but I’ve never cared much what my ride looks like or what company’s insignia is on its rear. But as my family stands at the crossroads between old car and new car, I find myself feeling unusually emotional about the transition. I am going to miss the old buggy.
This, after all, is the car in which we brought home both of our babies. It’s the car in which I struggled and eventually learned to install a car seat. And it’s the car that suffered innumerable tire problems after a harrowing drive to the hospital through pothole-riddled streets to get there just in time for #2 to arrive. It’s the car for which I then waited at the shop as my wife cuddled that newborn on her first full day of life. And so on.
So yes, it’s just a hunk of steel and glass and other materials, which I will be glad to see driven away by a buyer who’s just handed me a check. But it’s also a pile of memories, our mobile home of sorts since before we even had kids. And so forgive me my wistfulness. Those tiny creatures whose first precious moments outside of the hospital were spent in that back seat are now on their second and third car seats. One is going to be a first grader, the other will start nursery school come September. Old enough to ask, incessantly, “Are we almost there?” and to seemingly drop more pretzels on the floor than were in the bag originally. Old enough to lobby for specific types of cars and colors and for where they will sit once we get it.
There’s nothing wrong with the old car, and it should have many years of good life ahead of it with its new owners. But as we look forward to a new member joining our family this fall, we’ll have a new tiny creature who will need his or her own seat and will need to find his or her own place—in the car and everywhere else—beside his or her bigger sisters. Bigger family, bigger car.
And so it’s not all sadness to see the old car go, not by a long shot. But as I learn to navigate a big honkin’ car unlike any other I’ve owned, I’ll also need to do the same with my big honkin’ family. Exciting, even thrilling, something I wouldn’t trade or surrender for anything. And also more than a little scary, a jump into the unknown.
Umpteen car salesman have promised me smooth rides and easy maintenance. May it be.Add a Comment