This Mom has 184,891 miles on her.
That’s if we’re measuring my experience since giving birth to my first and only child by how far my Subaru Forester has traveled. My husband and I bought the electric blue mini-SUV 10 years ago when I was pregnant with our son, Harrison. At the time, I was at the end of a years-long self-imposed no-driving kick, determined to employ Long Island’s paltry mass transit options and unnerved by the poor and dangerous driving habits of the people who live here. As I headed toward my due date, I realized that if I were to ever become a soccer mom, I would need to transport both the ball and the boy to the field.
Well, I transported that boy home from the hospital, to many a sports field and court, to preschool and elementary school and now middle school, to parks and beaches and far-reaching places where we have vacationed over the years, and to the barber and amusement parks and friends’ homes. We went to the hospital a couple of times, the supermarket many times, and the doctor, too. Sometimes the back of his head faced me and I’d glance back at red lights to make sure he was OK; he’s now in the front seat taking precautionary advice for when he starts driving in a few years. Will he be driving this one?
I thought of all this the other day after my husband suggested that, with low interest rates and good promotional offers, we might think of purchasing a new car. He now drives a new Subaru Impreza, recently purchased to replace my father’s pick-up truck, as late as my dad is. “You can play your iPod through the speaker system!” he goaded me on. That was tempting, as was the thought that of a new auto electrical system that would actually make the lighter outlets work so I can power various devices as I tool around. Oh yeah, a handle on the gas tank lever would make filling up easier. And the air conditioning broke thousands of miles ago on a road trip to Texas. It's been a hot summer.
I mentioned my hesitation about trading in to a close friend, a mother of three. She understood immediately, attaching sentimental value to dirt, dust and dings. Our kids haven’t only grown up in our cars, so have we.