(Don't worry Giselle, I will get to the new car later this week!)
Tomorrow I will turn over the keys to the car I have had for the last nine and a half years.
That car was my college graduation present from my parents (Thank you Mom and Dad!). When they bought it they were originally looking at a two-door version with light interior. My mom argued that the light interior would probably not hold up well and that I would have a hard time getting to a car seat in the back of a two-door. I laughed at this when they gave me the car, but it turned out to be some great thinking on her part.
That car came before my first teaching job, before I met Matt, before I had kids. That car took me to job interview and jobs. That car carried me to St. Louis, Columbus, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Madison, Louisville and Chicago to visit friends. The gift of that car allowed me to take my first teaching job and move back to Ohio. I drove that car home to Wisconsin for the weeks before my wedding. That car has been witness to other events, like Harper's first day of school. It has ferried us safely to doctor and dentist and dog grooming and countless other appointments.
If it weren't for the fact that I didn't have a car payment I don't think I could have afforded to take that first teaching job in a Catholic school, a job with a salary that barely covered rent, utilities, and insurance. And if I hadn't taken that job I never would have met Matt, and, well, the rest is history.
Despite the fact that my dear car felt too small almost from the moment we first had kids, it has served me well. It is as comfortable to me as my favorite shoes and as familiar as my favorite music.
So I may have complained that the stroller took up the entire trunk space. I may have hit my head too many times to count leaning over to strap babies in their seats. I may have wondered what it would be like to drive something new. But I am truly grateful for my little Cavalier.
Tomorrow I will pass it along to a woman (who may wish to remain anonymous!) who has just graduated from college. I hope it serves her as well as it has me.