It Dawned On Me
With three sons, I figured it was bound to happen sooner or later. At first, it was an innocent comment while driving. Then when we were traveling through a big city, it was lingering looks. Before I knew it, I was hearing comments such as, “Mom! Did you see how beautiful that was? Wow!”
Girls, you say?
Oh no, it’s cars that have caught their attention. No matter where we go, they discuss what make and model just passed us, what car is behind us, how many Porches they think we’ll see in town and if there will be a Ferrari at Costco (the answer so far has always been “None”).
The boys have even used up all of my special scrap paper I store in the van to make copious notes about car sightings past, present and future.
Just the other day, I grabbed a piece of paper to jot a note to someone.
When I finished, it read, “Here is the Maserati casserole. Just heat to 350 degrees until warm. Lamborghini.”
I confess they get their car obsession from me. I have been a “car geek” ever since I attended shows as a teenager. I loved seeing the prototypes and the car of the year. I loved watching the new cars gleam on the show room floor as the sales team educated the spectators about the 0-60 speed, engine size and add-on features. It wasn’t long before I knew the Fords from the Firebirds and what the different model years were.
This whole car identification game has not gone unnoticed by our daughter. One day, I was backing out of the grocery store parking lot and I heard a sweet little voice say, “Oh Mommy, look! It’s a yellow Porsche!”
Since the boys weren’t with me, I figured I needed to check out this rare sight for myself. So proud of our daughter for being able to identify cars at such a young age, I smugly turned to see a beautiful yellow... Mustang. She was incorrect, but I had to admire her optimism.
I’ve often wondered what is beneficial about recognizing a vehicle by its size and shape. Or knowing that the 1999 Dodge Caravan had a 3.3-liter engine available on the standard model and not just the Grand versions?
Sometimes, it’s nice to know what kind of vehicle has just almost sideswiped you on the interstate going about 90 miles an hour, so you can give a vivid description to the State Police (this is a non-hypothetical situation).
But now that conversations with my sons veer toward sports cars, I don’t mind a bit. If I can educate myself and share their world in that way, then I am more than happy to take a bunch of road trips and admire the beautiful, expensive transportation that other people have.
Besides, I dream of maybe one day buying a 1986 Ruf Porsche 930 Turbo and fixing it up with my children. It would bring music to my ears to hear the gentle purr of that 3.3-liter engine and my children say, “Yeah. My mom helped us do that.”
Dawn Mast lives with her family in Broadway.