It was just a car, but it was my first one. After many a misadventure in good old Gold Turismo, I had a teaching contract and new wheels. The goal was to have a reliable car that I would not be afraid to drive on the highway, preferably with a working radio – tape deck was optional, I’m no princess. This little beauty delivered.
It was just a car – a 1999 Honda Civic Special Edition. The “special” part being automatic, keyless entry and air conditioning which YES, I realize is pretty much standard now, but this was 1999. I was living the dream.
It was just a car, but it drove me safely as I garage-saled for toys and games for my very first classroom. It’s AM/FM radio helped me stay alert on the short, but at times tedious commute to school. It was the sole witness to countless laughs and serious debriefs with my carpool friends.
It was just a car, but it drove me to our wedding, on our road trip honeymoon, and across Canada one summer. With Bearded Husband behind the wheel, the Civic delivered me to the hospital when our firstborn decided to arrive one month early. Three days after, it brought home our family of three. Twenty-one months later, we made the same trip and came home with our second son.
It was just a car, but it transported our babies to my childhood home where we relived the magic of Grandma and Grandpa’s house. There they played with my favourite old toys, swam in the “best” pool, and explored the creek where just moments before I was climbing trees and throwing pebbles in the water.
In the beginning, I hand washed that silver beauty every weekend. I scrubbed the car mats to maintain the “new” smell. With time, it was cleaned less and less. Eventually, carseats replaced space for shopping bags and Cheerios littered the floor. In 1999 I never imagined that I would have spare clothes and diapers in the trunk or that I would wash down the dashboard with baby wipes. As with everything, the Civic’s time came to an end.
Confession: I am not that attached to “things”. I don’t really care about cars or electronics or having everything new and shiny. But friends, I actually cried when we decided not to repair the car and let it go to its final resting place. Real tears. And yes, Bearded Husband laughed at me. A lot. He still brings it up.
Here’s the good news, we bought a slightly used Mazda 5 and for a girl who doesn’t “really care about cars”, I LOVE that thing. So much has changed in the auto industry since 1999, I can’t even tell you. I don’t like driving much, but I make excuses to get out at night and “run some errands” (most days I have the oh-so-exciting-van) just so I can zip around. The sight lines! The seat warmers! The working rear wiper!
Can the Mazda hold as many memories and milestones as my sweet Civic did? Well, just last week I was strapping Little into his carseat and as I pulled on the tether strap, BH whipped open the driver door and clipped me RIGHT ON THE FOREHEAD. I didn’t cry, but I wanted to. Only kidney stones and labour have hurt more than that did. It’s possible that this car is enchanted, because even though my head developed a sizeable goose egg, it never bruised. Thus, I have dubbed November 30, “Mazda Miracle Day”.