I have a car. It’s a 2005 Chev Cavalier. It’s not much of a car, but it runs, it’s reliable, it’s not rusted out, and it’s cheap to insure.
Because it’s cheap to insure, I have the privilege of sharing my car with our children as they assume the responsibility of driving themselves, for their own purposes.
Child #6, 20-year-old Son, is pretty sure of himself. He’s working full time to save money to serve a mission for our church and for university. He’s often said, “Mom, I’m going to buy a car. I hate sharing a car with you.” Well, hate is a strong word – and I usually feel the same way. I dislike finding empty fast food (you read that right!) containers in my car. I dislike finding he didn’t lock all the doors when he parked it. I dislike having to say – “Ahem, I haven’t driven the car at all this week and it’s down to a quarter tank. It’s your turn to fill it up.”
He needs the car to get to work for an opening shift (7 AM) or for a closing shift (off after 11 PM) because public transit is lousy to where he works, and it’s even worse when it’s not ‘rush hour’. So I let him take my car, and then I have to ask Husband if I can use his mini-van if I need to go out. It almost always works out alright.
When Son leaves I always say “drive safe”. I know it’s bad grammar. He always rolls his eyes. Just a few weeks ago, after I heard him rolling his eyes, I asked him if he knew what I meant when I say “drive safe”. He said, “Yeah – don’t crash the car.”
I said, “Really? That’s it? That’s only such a small part of it. The car I can replace. What I’m really saying is make good choices that will keep you safe physically, spiritually, and emotionally, and come home again tonight so I can give you a hug. And most of all, ‘drive safe’ is just another way of saying ‘I love you’.”
Tonight, remember to tell each of the people you love that you do love them regardless of how you say it.