Dear Mom: The Car

 Dear Mom,

You wanted your grandson to have your car and it's finally happened.  Your Buick is sitting in my driveway.  (Blocking in my car and I guess we're going to have a fun time juggling cars around; especially when the winter comes.)  It still is owned by you, has your personalized plates, and is registered to you.  I know all that has to change.  I still have to figure that all out.  (I'm sure it's going to be complicated because NOTHING is simple.  What all the steps are and in what order I have to take them is stressing me out, but I WILL figure it out and I will take care of it.  I don't have any choice, do I?)

I'm trying to figure out when you might have last driven it.  It would have been in 2021 because I'm pretty sure you didn't drive at all this year.  I don't think you drove it after last autumn.  If I recall correctly, you attempted to drive yourself to the hospital last November (when things started to really go downhill), but a neighbor took you instead.  Did you drive after that?  Maybe?  Maybe not?  I'm guessing you didn't drive at all after we got live in help, ostensibly for dad (because you couldn't handle taking care of him on your own) but as it turned out Marietta was really there for you.

In my mind, there was no question as to what would happen to your car.  You wanted your grandson to have it, but he didn't have a license yet so it sat there.  I think Marietta drove it every so often (although she predominantly drives dad's SUV which is easier for him to get in and out of and can fit the folding wheelchair and walker).  However, mostly it just sat there.

It's a 2011 model.  An old car to some (was 2011 really that long ago?), but you loved it and didn't want to get a new one even when you were driving regularly.  You wanted to pass that love onto your grandson.  I wanted to honor that so once he got his license, we came down and I gave him the keys and let him go.  (If you don't think that was hard...) If he liked it, he could have it.  If he didn't, we would sell it back to the dealer (who still wants it) and find something else for him.  (My son hates my Ford Escape...I'm not sure why other than the fact that it's "mom's car.")  He was gone for maybe 10 minutes (thankfully there is not much traffic at the shore after the summer, although there are more people than we ever would have imagined before Covid) and said he wanted it.

Issue number one (which I didn't realize until that day), the car needed to be inspected.  It was way overdue; something that no one seemed to realize.  (The sticker which read 2021 might have been right there on the front windshield, but no one was looking.)  It also needed a professional going over.  I thought maybe the dealership could have helped out (I know you and dad were friends with the salesman who would come pick it up, get it serviced for you and bring it back that night), but that didn't work.  But the lone service station on the island was willing to provide door to door service and so it was all taken care of on Monday.

Now I just had to get it up here.  Your grandson is by no means ready to handle the GSP. (We tried for a mile or two one Sunday morning; it did not go well.) Thankfully, there are family friends who still live "up north" and have a home at the shore, so I took the day off from work.  (Although I really didn't; I'm covering for a co-worker who is on maternity leave and it's the last quarter of the year which is always a crazy time, so I was on my laptop from early in the morning until I was picked up at noon and then for several hours after I got home.)  They drove me down (how odd it is to be in the back seat) and after spending a little time with dad (didn't want to get trapped in rush hour traffic), I got in your car and headed home.

It was a little nerve wracking.  The bells and whistles on a 2011 Buick sedan are different from a 2018 Ford SUV.  I knew the basics, but there were things I couldn't figure out.  (And I didn't take the time before I headed home.)  Sure I could turn on the radio, but how did I turn off the lane departure system so that I could see the odometer?  (Not a big deal and I did figure it out when my husband and I did figure it all out when we sat in our driveway with the manual.)  It does have some cool bells and whistles (heated seats; how did we live without them?) and some unnecessary stuff that I have told your grandson never to touch (cruise control; the OnStar that is no longer active).  

Your grandson took it for a drive yesterday.  (Yes, I was a wreck.)  I think the lack of a back up camera and touch screen panel for GPS is disappointing to him.  But not so much as me not yet letting him hook up his phone to the car (which can be done) so that he can listen to HIS music.  (He's going to have to learn about FM radio and CDs.)  I've told him first things first.  He's gotten his parking permit for school.  (Although there are no open spaces in the lot.  He has to park on the hill, which is something Seniors don't do!  This was a major argument last night.  He wants to park on the street, which the school does not want you to do.  Plus he's a lousy parallel parker.  [So am I!]  So as "embarrassing" as it is, he needs to park on the hill and walk up to the school.  I told him to blame it on me.  Tell your "cool" friends that your mom didn't get you a car until now so you are stuck with no lot spot.  I'd be happy to take the heat.)  He's ready to drive to school today, park and drive home after.  Am I a wreck?  You bet!  (How did you manage?)

So mom, your request has been fulfilled.  He's in your car and he's ready to go.  Watch over him and keep him safe as he gets behind the wheel.  (Watch over me too as I try not to have a nervous breakdown over all of this!)  And thank you.






  1. He will do fine. My the are all still here. No accidents, no tickets. Just breathe a sigh of relief when he walks in the door each day. I still do.

  2. Beth, you have done great with more details about more unexpected "problems" than anyone can imagine....until they appear! Well done..James will be fine...try not to freak him out!!🤪 Senior year is not easy.


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