Monday, March 21, 2022

The Car Show

 Every year for the last 29 years, I have attended the international car show with my husband.  Early on, even before we were married, I went with him and his parents. We would stroll through the exhibit marveling at the cars, their costs, and dreaming big "one-day" dreams.  We would climb in and out of the cars and be in awe of the new features.  Each year the features and price seemed to change, what was once an option became standard, and stick shifts became a thing of the past.

 When we had kids, we continued to go.  My oldest has been going for 22 years, his first time was as a five-month-old. We pushed the stroller through the show, pausing now at cars and SUVs that could fit everything that went with having a baby.  "Do you think there is enough room back here for the car seat?", "That trunk doesn't look like it would fit the stroller.", "Do you think I could reach around and get him in this car, like if I needed to?"  Our conversations changed as the years progressed, but the one constant was the family went together.  

My youngest has attended his whole life... even in utero.  I was just coming off a brief period of bed rest and made my way slowly through the car show.  His first appearance at the showwas when he was six months old.  Again, the conversations changed... "Now, we have two... should we look at minivans?" "Ooh, this one has a TV and the doors slide open."  "That could be vital to my sanity... let's see what Chevy has to offer." We even picked out our next car at the car show!  We still dreamed and had "one-day" cars, my husband always looks at the Mustangs and the sedans.  I always go for the Jeeps and the day. (I should say, I drive a Jeep now 😀)

We have made it a point to go to the car show every year.  When the boys we both heavily involved in travel sports, we squeezed it in somehow.  Some years it was a quick trip, others we spent a little bit longer.  Some years we spent a fortune on food while we were there - my snacks were not enough for growing boys.  Some years we only bought water.  The constant was the family time together. 

This year, my college boy was home from school for the weekend.  You guessed it, it was the weekend of the car show.  We made a pilgrimage to downtown for the show.  My youngest, who doesn't get out of bed before noon, got up early to join us.  We walked through the exhibit.  This year pointing out the cost of the cars to the soon-to-be college graduate.  His dreams of a maxed-out Ford F150, slowly being crushed by the realization that they are out of his league for now. He decided he likes the cheaper version of the truck, a bit smaller but functional... he will now have a "one-day" truck dream.  My youngest one, decided that cars are too expensive and he is going to drive his until he can't anymore.  But if he had to choose, he seems to like the fast, sports cars... so maybe a Corvette or a Dodge Charger are his "one-day" cars.  

As we were making our way back to the car, my college boy said, "I am so glad I made it home for the car show." Then in typical brother fashion, they debated the wants vs needs of the cars and how expensive they are.  This quickly turned into the viral conversation about doors and windows... but that is for another day! My husband and I just soaked it all in.  What a great, simple tradition started by his dad all of those years ago. 

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