Oh you guys. Life is like a TIDAL WAVE right now. I got pneumonia (go me!) last week, and then Elijah started running crazy fevers and coughing, which freaked me out because I thought I gave my baby the Black Lung Disease, but no! He's just got a random virus! I blame YOU preschool! And now my daughter is coughing and running a temp on and off and everyone has runny noses and grumpy dispositions and LORD HAVE MERCY we finally bought a car. And of course we chose to do it this week.
And I haven't even TOLD YOU about how I dumped a glass of water on my computer and then had it packed in rice for three days and luckily my father-in-law is an Apple genius and he checked it out and it seems fine so PHEW.
But I still had a heart attack and a total dramatic meltdown. Oh yes I did.
Now I don't have to be the first to tell you that when Mama gets sick all the crap hits all the fans. First of all, there's the running (yes, WE KNOW Manda. You do THE RUNNING.), which I cannot do when I have lungs full of crap. It's – apparently – not allowed. And since I'm crazypants I have now become the sort of person who cannot really face the day unless she works out. Like, the scale tips totally in the opposite direction and I find myself, bereft of breakfast at 11:45 because I have forgotten to eat it, snarfing down brownies in my hiding spot beside the fridge and being generally unstable and rotten all around to anyone who dares inconvenience me. What say you, CHILD? You are THIRSTY? *life falls apart*
And if at this point you're saying to yourself "What on EARTH is she even TALKING about right now?" I'm right there with you. Never fear.
Anyway, the point of all this is to tell you that we went out and got this new (to us) full-size SUV. We pick it up tomorrow. And the day we signed all the paperwork on the trade-in I totally FREAKED OUT. Like, cried. And was freaking out and couldn't figure out WHY. And then I realized that I was sad to give up the car (actually mid-size SUV) that I've been driving a little over five years.
Now, to give you a little context, I've spent most of the time I've driven this car HATING the living daylights out of it. When we first bought it we didn't have any children and my husband and I were sharing his pickup truck. I liked driving the truck all right, and we bought it not long after BOTH of our cars bit the dust one fateful weekend in 2005. We had no choice … and so we drove our remaining car which was actually IN FLAMES to the dealership (hoo boy is THAT a story), negotiated a trade and bought the new (to us) truck. For a year we shared it and tested the strength of our marriage via scheduling conflicts (we made it by the skin of our teeth).
And then finally we were in a position to purchase another vehicle and I was so desperate to get ANYTHING I practically FLUNG myself at the third car I test drove. And it was a fine car! Until I took someone on a ride in the back seat and we went over a bump and their teeth were so rattled they nearly fell out. And then there was this crazy weird thing that happened with the suspension system that we barely got the warantee to cover. BARELY. And I think the guy at the dealership was so desperate to be rid of us that he "found" some "loophole" just to never have to see us again.
Five years and two kids later we've simply outgrown it. Other than the skipping cd player, the bumpy back seat, the engine belts that never seem to stay tight enough and thus announce my arrival everywhere with a terrifying squealing noise … it's been a good vehicle for us. We drove it from Texas to California on our big, step-of-faith move. We've driven hundreds of kids from the youth ministry we do around in it, taught them to drive in it, wedged them in the trunk and even endured the giant teenage butt-dent in the hood. We brought our children home from the hospital in it. We drove it off the road on a (failed) attempt to see the Grand Canyon. I bonked it into a parked car in an urgent care parking lot and earned it the name "Popeye" because the other car was fine, but my bumper was permanently dented.
I cannot explain why it makes me so sad to let go. But it does. I mean, it's just a car. But in a lot of ways it was my first car. It was the first car I ever bought on my own, for me. It's still a perfectly good car … for someone else. The new vehicle I'm getting will give us the space we need to haul around our kids and other people's kids and our parents and our siblings and will carry us on many new adventures. It better suits our needs, and I'm sure it'll come with its own set of issues (and I already know it's a gas guzzler so be ready for my ardent complaints, Twitter). I'm excited about it. I'm ready.
But I'll miss this little guy.