My Kids or My Car?

Last month I added two teenage drivers to our auto insurance. The cost was roughly equivalent to funding the war in Iraq. Our son had waited to get his license until the same week his little sister got hers. Don't ask me why. I know I should be grateful he didn't get it sooner, and now I really am glad. We have one car for the two of them to share until Jake heads off into the navy. When necessary they have both borrowed my old Honda Accord.

In the first two months both kids have banged up my Honda. Jake tore the front bumper loose backing out of a steep driveway and later he backed into a telephone pole. Rebecca wiped out our brick and concrete mail box.

So, this evening I was laying in the street under the front end of my car , trying to tie up the loose bumper until I can get it to the body shop on Monday. My friend, Mike, came walking by and stopped to say hello. I didn't recognize him up-side-down, but I knew him when he asked what I was doing. I gave him my list of complaints about my kids and the damage to my car. Mike said, "Oh well, anybody hurt?" "No, nobody hurt," I replied. He continued, "Yeah, that's the call you don't want to get, isn't it? Everything else will fix. Everything else can be replaced, but not your kids."
Mike headed on up the street and I just laid there a minute thinking about his words, convicted of my shallow and confused values. I do love my old Honda. It's a peach and I plan on driving it as long as it survives the current season of demolition driving. But, though I own my Honda, my kids own me. I can't bear the thought of my sons or daughter being put at risk, let alone injured or worse. My love for them comes from the deepest core of my being. They own me and I can't help it.

So, thanks, Mike, for a good word and a needed reminder. Don't get too wrapped up in the things you own. Just treasure those who own you, and hold them close.


Annie said…
A beautiful post and lesson.

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