Wednesday, July 19, 2006

the end of an era...sort of.


Nate has always said "I love you" in a language all his own: mostly, he says I love you with cars. Years ago, I fell in love with the junkiest of old 1970's Volvos. It had over 300,000 miles on it and was in need of serious repair. Nate surprised me for my birthday that year by pulling up to the house in this smoking, sputtering old thing. We worked on it together. Okay, I sprayed Simple Green on it while he worked. This began my love affair with that wonder of Swedish engineering that is the Volvo. I have been driving his latest declaration of love for almost 2 years. One would think that a Volvo would be the perfect safe, reliable family car and while we were a family of 2, it was. Then came Claire.

My 6'2 husband folded himself go-cart style into the driver's seat of the Volvo every time the three of us went anywhere together. Meanwhile, my 23 inch baby lounged in the middle of the backseat in her indestructible rear-facing infant seat. And no matter what I tried anytime she was in the Volvo, she sobbed. At the height of her car-induced terrors, it took me over 30 minutes to drive 5 miles. I stopped in parking lots and sat in the backseat with her singing, speaking softly and stroking her wet, red cheek. It was a mess.

We began to realize that we were going to need a bigger car. Nate found us a nice Jetta and I've been driving around in its wonderfulness ever since. Leather! Air Conditioning! Sunroof! Oh my! My Volvo sat unused at Nate's shop for a month. This week we decided to sell the Volvo. When the first person came to look at the Volvo I may have scowled at him a tiny bit.

I'm not sure why this has been such a hard decision for me. It's just an old car. The Jetta is a better fit for our family. Still, I don't see myself as a Jetta person. I like that after three Volvos, I know exactly what to expect. And there's the matter of Volvos being a love language in our family. Still, Claire seems to really love the Jetta. She no longer screams like a wild woman every time we go anywhere. I imagine that in my life this is just one of the many tiny sacrifices I will make for this child. As long as there are no minivans in my future, we should all be just fine.

4 comments:

katie said...

kari that is hilarious, I have issues letting go of the Volvo also, we got a wagon 2 years ago and I love the thing to death.. Now with the 2nd baby on the way, B's 2 door, is going out the door and we will need to get a more reliable "family car".... there is no character in the Honda element B has fallen in love with.... depressing... I am trying to negotiate a newer volvo for me and a 4 door for him... we will see how it turns out.... I saw a gorgeous baby blue wagon the other day and had to stop and oogle over it...

bean and sprout's rep. said...

here, here on "no" to minivans! ugh, gak, blech! i used to have an orange 71 volvo- it was love at first sight (what is it about volvos?!). i cried when i had to give that thing up to the u-pull-it car yard. i drove it until it couldn't run anymore. when we had the bean, t.c. and i mutually fell in love with a black honda element and we've been content ever since (as have our small ones). however, the man still talks about getting another trooper someday.... wonder what the girls will think of that.

mostly kari said...

How strange that all 3 of our guys have been looking at Elements! I wasn't that excited about them, but after seeing all of that wonderful, spacious room I am a believer. And at least they've got that familiar boxy feeling that I love.

Holly said...

Poor Kar, I really feel for you on the Volvo. It hurts me a little even to think about selling the Dodge, and it's mighty impractical even without a baby! Even though it's sitting unused thousands of miles away, it's just good to know it's there...