Letter To My Car
5th February 2016
Jump in, kids! Time to go to BiLo again! #blessed!
This column was originally published in Practical Parenting Magazine, January 2016.
I feel like it’s time that I wrote to you to acknowledge that things have changed between us. Our relationship is not what it used to be, but that’s OK, right? Life is about the journey, right Car? Not the destination! (You should totally get that on a postcard, Car.)
When we first got together we had some wild times. Remember, when I was a teenager, all that aimless driving around? I used to put $3 worth of petrol at at time into your broken petrol gauge, and you were always full of my girlfriends smoking ciggies out the window. Sometimes we listened to Kylie Minogue, sometimes The Smiths, and sometimes Public Enemy. We were figuring out who we were, Car.
We drove around the suburbs, to nightclubs, to the city, and to so, so many coffee shops. I didn’t really spill coffee in you then, Car, because I had time to spend hours actually drinking it inside cafes, talking about 90210 and feminism and crap like that with my girlfriends. Just hours talking, uninterrupted.
No time for those shenanigans any more, Car! You feeling me? I know you are! My constant companions these days are three feet tall and drink babycinos. Sure, they’ll talk about 90210 (they’ll give any topic a red-hot go)but their grasp of popular culture is not nuanced. They are more ‘Zombie Bums From Uranus’ fans.
Also, I still drink a lot of coffee, but now I drink it in you, Car, as I ferry kids around to Girl Guides and footy training and shout ‘Don’t bite your brother!’ into the back seat.
You know how recently one of the kids was caught short on the highway and I had to help him wee into an empty coffee cup and then a bit of it spilled? I know we laughed, Car, but it probs wasn’t as funny to you. Sorry.
That reminds me that I want to apologise for what I’ve put you through in the last few years, Car. There’s been a ridiculous amount of vomiting in you since the kids arrived. (Even more than through the nightclub years.) The children peel fruit and blow their noses and throw bits of rubbish in all directions, like tiny little Tudor Kings. At best, I can describe your interior as ‘gently composting’, Car. At worst, the public health implications of you are quite scary.
Remember that time we could not find the source of the stink for weeks, and then one day in the glove-box we found a liquefied banana? How we laughed, Car! It was almost like we were crying! Remember that time the baby threw up and then started eating bits out of it, Car? Champagne comedy, that was.
You know, Car, some of my favourite times are in you. After the mad rush of the morning, when we jump in you to drive to school, Car, the kids and I have great conversations. And as a family, road trips have made some of our best memories. And biggest messes.
But when you are I are alone together Car, that is gold. Just you, me, Google Maps, news radio and takeaway coffee. These moments alone are rare, in this season of life with small children, and I relish them. It smells disgusting in you, Car, but it feels fantastic.
I love you, Car. You’ve got indefinable little bits of gross stuff all over you, but that’s OK. So do I,these days.