Today’s our wedding anniversary. Thirteen lucky years. I am happy to be married to a man like Adam. Besides being the smartest person I know and an excellent writer, he brings take-out home for dinner when I’m in disarray, he takes us on spontaneous adventures and I’ve never been hesitant to leave our children with him or questioned his competence in caring for them. (It turns out maybe I should have a time or two like the time he was at Father and Son camp with Braeden and decided to relocate their tent by putting it on top of the car, having 7 year old Braeden sit in the tent to hold it in place and then driving over to the new camp site.)
I also love him because of our car. It’s a 1995 Saturn that we got at the time of our marriage. It was the first time I’d ever owned a car or driven a brand new car. It took me from Provo to Pleasant Grove where I taught school. It took us on low budget newly married outings like Sounds Easy Pizza and Movies 8. We went on road trips to Washington and Nevada to visit our family.
It was the car we drove Braeden home from the hospital in (the car Adam drove painfully slow on the icy roads…his first act as a protecting father).
Adam and his dad drove the car (and a rental truck with our belongings) to Connecticut while Braeden and I flew. In Connecticut, Braeden and I got lost countless times in the car. When we’d come to an unsavory corner in New Haven, I’d snake my arms around and lock the back doors so one of the scary looking characters on the corner wouldn’t jump in and steal my baby. (Who wouldn’t want my adorable baby right?)
The Saturn was the car we nosed downed cobblestone streets exploring Boston, sat in traffic on the Long Island Expressway in New York and drove to Washington D.C. when Braeden screamed for all of New Jersey. It took us to church and play group and date nights and the library.
We drove the car to California…seven cozy days in our cocoon of snacks and sippy cups and Melody Time on the TV/VCR. In California, Adam again took public transportation so the Saturn was my domain to take exciting places like Costco and Albertsons. We also took the trip a few times over the Nevada desert to visit my family. In the Saturn. We had extra socks so Braeden and Emma could play in the ball pit at the McDonald’s in Winnemucca. (No sandal feet welcome.)
When we moved to Washington, Adam drove the car through blizzards while the kids and I took a plane. We were happily a one car family until Adam’s work wasn’t accessible with public transportation and Braeden was old enough for things like swim lessons. We were also expecting Mark and suddenly needed two cars. I was thrilled with the new van. Happy to shake off the shackles of the Saturn.
It’s like the frayed gray sweatshirt that I’ve had since college. I don’t want to part with it but glad I have other stuff to wear also.
Adam’s been doggedly driving the Saturn in the six years since we’ve had the van. It had a near death experience last winter. Adam was in a fender bender and the insurance company deemed the Saturn not worth fixing. If it had been only up to me, I’d have jumped at the chance for an upgrade. Adam was insistent that we keep the Saturn. It still gets excellent gas mileage and there’s life in the old girl yet. If Adam’s anything, it’s frugal. We took the steps to keep the Saturn. The insurance company declared it totaled. We paid for repairs ourselves. We got it re-licensed and titled.
A few weeks after we got it back, good as new (or good as a thirteen year old car gets), I drove it to an early church meeting. It’s worn and threadbare and makes pained noises. I couldn’t believe that Adam had wanted to keep driving it. I would certainly not have.
And that is what separates me from my husband. In the history of us, he has never really truly denied me anything I wanted. He works incredibly hard to provide for us and his reward is to drive an old beat up car so we can afford the little luxuries the kids and I benefit from.
Now when I look at the dear little green car in our driveway, I think of years of it getting us places, I think of the laughter and screaming toddlers and Wee Sing songs that echo in it, and I think of my good husband who loves us enough to drive around in a car that reminds me of my frayed gray sweatshirt I’ve had since college.