Thirteen years ago, I was very pregnant with my oldest son. TechyDad and I decided that it was time for a family vehicle. We traded in my Chrysler Neon that had been with me through college. My little red adventure mobile had traveled all over with me, including to meet TechyDad. We had to trade the car in because we needed something that was larger for baby cargo and our growing family.
About a month before NHL was born, Big Red came home with us. Yes, my red Town & Country minivan would be there for so many milestones in our life. We brought NHL home from the hospital in her. We went to visit family near and far with her. Big Red also allowed us to travel with extended family thanks to more seating. Big Red helped us to move from an apartment into our home. She also helped us to experience our first road trip and family vacation to friends near Sesame Place.
Big Red also saved our lives in the summer of 2006. We were t-boned by another car making an illegal turn. Big Red was pushed across at least six lanes. While up on two wheels, Big Red did not tip over and we stopped 180 degrees on the far side of the giant roadway. NHL and Nana were with us that day. Big Red was fixed and looked good as new after some time away.
The following year, JSL came into our world and completed our family. Big Red would often transport a sleeping baby to and from school to pick up big brother. We continued to travel with the van and our two young boys. As the kids got bigger, and gas got more expensive, we used the more fuel efficient car. Big Red stayed home a little more, but we still loved her. She let us haul extra kids to after school activities and more.
Three years ago, we did a major repair on Big Red. We knew that would be the last time. After this, it would not make sense to put money into her. Aside from brakes, wipers, and several tires she kept up on her end of the bargain taking the kids to and from school.
Last week, Big Red went in for her inspection. The news was not good for my big red adventure mobile. A major repair would mean the end of the road for us.
It may seen silly, but over time you get attached to your vehicles and the special moments in them. Call me sentimental, but after thirteen years together Big Red’s a constant that has always been there for our family. I recall picking her out and being so happy for another red car. I also remember dashing to the hospital in Big Red when my water broke for each of the kids. TechyDad and I laughed hysterically as I tried not to make a mess in the car . Drives to first days of school for the boys, going to work in my own classroom, and more were all with Big Red.
Handing over the keys is going to be hard, but I know it’s the right thing. Now I need to come up with a name for my soon to be new car. We will certainly have many memories to add together.