By Sarah Bloom
Earning a driver’s license and being handed the keys to a first vehicle is a rite of passage for any teenager. Nervous parents stand in the back ground with butterflies filling their stomachs as they watch their all grown-up babies take off down the road. There are few experiences that compare to the undeniable feeling of freedom that comes with those first unsupervised travels.
Shopping for those beginner wheels was something I never really enjoyed for two reasons. First, my dad is a very tough sell for any car dealership. He is definitely one that knows what he wants and what he will give and no amount of haggling from any salesman is going to change his mind. They may cause him to leave a lot sooner than planned because they stepped on his nerves one too many times, but they would not change his mind. Second, every car that caught my interest fell under the above restriction. So finally I just told my dad that I would take whatever he found, but I would really like to have a truck.
Then one day there it was, the sweetest little black S10 pick-up this girl had ever seen. It was definitely love at first sight as I took in every detail of this wonderful automotive slowly coming to the realization that it was actually mine! It was a used truck, but it was in perfect condition. The interior was spotless and had that fresh, new smell. I was so excited and couldn’t wait to hit the open road. Much to my parents dismay my little, black beauty was quite the speedster. That truck could take off in an instant and stop on a dime. I can honestly say my first vehicle was by far my favorite of anything I have driven since.
I kept that truck spotless especially on the inside. I took a lot of pride in making sure everything was clean and tidy and smelled nice. Those were the days when cruising town was better entertainment than any show around.
Fast forward to the present…there are now times when I climb into my mini van and can’t help but say, “What is that smell?” Instead of clean and tidy it smells of old french fries and sweaty boys mingled with weak strains of whatever air freshener is failing at the time. Tidy doesn’t even stand a chance against four boys. I can clean out my car and within one short trip it looks as though it hasn’t been touched in a year.
In this department I honestly admit that I have accepted defeat. Between school, sports, work, grocery shopping, etc. it feels as though we practically live in our car. So I had to weigh the pros and cons of stressing about the tidiness of the car. I could drive myself crazy about every little spot of dirt littering the floor or each forgotten school paper I find stuffed into the side pockets, but I have chosen not to. My boys know that whatever trash they take in with them had better make the trip back out the door with them. Granted this doesn’t always happen, but there are more important things to worry about.
The other day as I was waiting for my boys to get out of school I just happened to glance up at the roof of my van. Of all the places in the vehicle I just took for granted it would stay fairly clean, apparently I was wrong. There plainly on the ceiling was someone’s dirty little hand print that suspiciously matched the one on the front window. I just sighed, and instead of getting aggravated I smiled because I sadly know the not so distant future will hold a time when my car windows will no longer showcase dirty little handprints and lopsided smiley faces. It will smell nice and clean and the floor boards will not be littered with toys and Sunday school papers. This will be a time when running my hand under the seats will not produce a glob that resembles something between a grape and a raisin and stale cereal will not be wedged between the seat cushions. Oh yes, that will be a time, but it is most definitely one that I do not look forward to because from this mother’s heart I would much rather drive my dirty, little “mom taxi” than the cleanest, sweetest smelling ride on earth.
God bless and have a great week! I would like to wish my son Luke a very Happy Birthday! He is turning eight years old today! Happy Birthday buddy, your dad and I love you very much and we are proud of you!