Sometimes as I’m driving around in my minivan, a song will come on the radio that instantly transports me back to 1981 when I was behind the steering wheel of a red 1976 Ford Mustang II Mach 1. Boy did I enjoy driving that car for a month that is, until the engine completely failed and I needed more reliable wheels to get me to and from work and school.
My Mustang was traded in for a school bus yellow Ford Escort which wasn’t nearly as fun to drive but hey a car was a car. Soon that car became an “escort” service, much to the dismay of my parents, as I hauled my friends to and from school, home games or just around town on the weekends!
That Escort was traded in for yet another two-door hatchback years later that would serve me through college, work, and into married life and the birth of our first son. We sold my car and shipped my husband’s Nissan which we shared for two of our three-year tour in Germany. In the last year of our tour, not only did we celebrate the birth of our second son, but we also enjoyed the luxury of a second car when a soldier friend deployed and loaned us his beater car.
Upon returning to the states, we bought a van to shuttle around our kids to and from school, practices, visits home, etc. But today as I run errands in my minivan, a twinge of guilt shoots through me as I feel compelled to downsize to a more practical vehicle. But those memories, of family trips and each son chauffeuring me as they learned to drive, jab at my heart as I turn and look back into my clean van devoid of book bags, sports equipment, trash, noise, food, and last but not least, my two sons.
But all of a sudden, for some selfish reason, I envision myself tooling around town in something smaller, sleeker and sportier, a sort of yearning for my youth, I suppose. But that dream quickly fades as I see dollar signs and numbers flash before my eyes, knowing with certainty that isn’t happening with two sons in college. So the next time you see me rocking out and hugging the curve in my minivan, I’m really driving that Mustang II Mach 1 in my mind!
photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/simplerich/6204553042/”>simplerich</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>cc</a>