I recently graduated from a 2009 Suburban (“The Dawn Treader”) to a 2017 Chrysler Pacifica (“Harriet the Chariot”)! Yes, I am now delighted to call myself the driver of a minivan. Honestly, I kind of detested the Suburban from the moment I drove it off the lot six years ago, and it continued to rankle for the remainder of its tenure as my mainstay vehicle. In the process of cleaning out the interior, I discovered among the contents of the console and glove box (former home to a mouse nest, but that’s another story) several artifacts, including a bag of M&Ms that had basically powderized, a key to my friend Becca’s house from that time I watered her plants while she was out of town a few years ago, a packet of pacifier wipes (my youngest child is five), mascara (who even WAS I?!), and this:
There’s so much to love about this. First of all, it’s written on a napkin, which is classic, in my husband’s perennial penmanship, including the zeros with the lines through them (a holdover from his time in the Coast Guard). Then there’s the fact that he dated it, which I deeply appreciate, especially considering that it happened to be our ninth wedding anniversary that day, providing context that otherwise would be lost on its future audience. But most of all, I love that this captures so precisely how kids think and emote and express: guilelessly, earnestly, unfettered by societal stigma or so-called norms, unafraid of causing offense or affronting decorum. It’s at once hilarious and profoundly innocent, and I’m keeping it forever. I look forward to showing it to Liam’s future spouse, if he wants and finds one, as an example of just how perfectly pure his mind was at the age of seven and two months and four days. That is, of course, if I last that long.