This past week was one crazy and contradictory journey. It saw me through a road trip I’d fantasized about for quite some time. But much to my surprise, when the light turned green I had a difficult time placing my foot on the accelerator.
Twelve short years ago, while three months pregnant and wrangling two boys ages five and two, I met Blue. It was love at first sight.
He was a brand-new, 1999 Chevrolet Suburban with all the seating and room my growing family would ever need – the quintessential mommy-mobile. (Some hold minivans in such esteem, but for reasons I can’t quite explain, I refused to go there. They’re just not me, but if you love yours, I respect that.)
Blue carried us home that day, and a long committed relationship began. Over the years he’s been present and provided reliable transportation for many major milestones: took all three of my children to their first days of kindergarten, brought home baby number three from the hospital, carried us safely to Florida for a Disney family vacation . . . the list goes on and on.
Of course it’s easy to remember the big events, but what I appreciate the most about Blue was how he was always there for me day in, day out. There were hundreds of trips to the grocery store, school outings, doctor appointments, containing and transporting treasures I found during the course of my days; he safely delivered me and my cargo to every place we needed to be – even when there was no particular destination save for a needed clearing of the mind.
But life has a way of changing and I now find myself in a much different place. Today I’m feeling blue because my Blue is out in the driveway with “For Sale” painted on his large windows. I can hardly bear it.
Research has been done – some scientifically formal and some pure quackery – on the theory of “you are what you drive”. I read a good deal of it, and can say that Blue absolutely personified me and where I was in life for many years. As you all know, I’m in a far different place now and so is Blue.
I won’t come right out and tell you what has taken Blue’s place, but she’s red, sleek, has a sun roof, and dare I say, a “Kathunka-boomer” stereo. (Thanks to my fellow columnist, Chris Buckner, for providing me with that term. In honor of you, Chris, I’ll turn it down whilst fueling. I’m classy that way.) You should read what the “you are what you drive” research says about all that. Because I like to remain mysterious, I won’t confirm or deny its validity.
I’ve already admitted to being somewhat in a midlife-crisis sort of place, so I’m taking all the comments along those lines in stride. Plus, I know that while “crisis” often has a negative feel, it can go the opposite direction and simply be a turning point. For certain, my traveling companions can attest to some sharp turns and being jostled about without warning.
Thanks for all the rides, Blue, and for your gentle way of tempering my spirited flares. I’ll keep those lessons in mind when Red throws too much fuel on the fire.
© 2010 Natalie Whatley