April 19th, 2008


Why Did I Give Birth?

The motherhood gig has some perks. I was fortunate enough to deliver a boy that can almost always make me laugh, and I love me some laughter. He has been known to fetch a cup of coffee or 3,000, since I last blistered my legs trying to ferry hot beverages in a wheelchair. Rarely will you find me unloading the dishwasher, and often will you find him letting the dog out to pee. I have to say, though, the downsides are LEGION.

My current, and frequent, complaint is the expense. I did read the statistics, and I had resigned myself to parenthood costing a bit. Current estimates put the price at a quarter-mil, getting the little suckers to age 17. What they don't tell you is-That's just what it costs to get them past the sweet stage!

My kid crashed his car a few months ago, going a bit too fast on an unexpectedly icy highway. Yes, I know we were lucky nobody was injured. I know way too many men in wheelchairs because of a poor decision made while driving at 18. I've met far too many of their mothers, and I've met the ones that would have settled for that as a happy ending, too. It was a sweet ride we'd bought him though, a Chevy Cavalier that met all of my requirements...Good gas mileage, not too fast, multiple airbags. It also met the bare minimum of his...4 wheels that would take him away from his mother. We had full coverage insurance on that car, which guaranteed the funds to replace it. Apparently all the decent cars in our price range have been purchased for graduation gifts for this year's crop of kids, because I'm sure not finding one. I refuse to grant him a vehicle upgrade for wrecking the last one, but I am paying for that resolution.

He wants to drive my van.

As I may have mentioned, I have special needs. There is one vehicle on earth that meets them, a sexy Dodge Grand Caravan minivan. (Hah! Oxymoron, get it? There are no sexy minivans!) I am quite pleased to be its owner. The back seats fold into the floorboard, which means I can roll my wheelchair up into the place behind the driver's seat. It has an electric sliding door for me to easily access that spot. It has a left-foot accelerator. It has little niceties like electric windows-Oh, so nice on the turnpike!-and a CD player. I've been known to carry my family, my wheelchair, and various assorted accoutrement such as surfboards, fishing poles and 4-wheeler ATV's in this all-around vehicle, as well.

See what I mean? It's a very special van for a very special lady!

An hour ago, the boy brought that van back from an outing, an hour and a half late. Undaunted, he, his friend and I loaded back into it. We were off to support my stepson while he played with his new band, Severed By Sin, at some stinky nightclub. Hopes were high! I was to take pictures, the boy was to initiate the moshing. I backed out of the driveway, then proceeded forward 100 feet or so. I slammed on the brakes and screamed "What is that sound?" "Oh, it's just the brake pads." "No, maybe it used to be brake pads. That sound is what is left when the brake pads are gone, it is what is behind the brake pads, and it is rotor on metal or some shit!"

Swear to God, it was an embarrassing drive back to the house. Every neighbor on the block was outdoors washing their safe, silent, unsullied vehicle. We crawled along accompanied by a metal-on-metal squeal that was highlighted with clanks. It amazes me that those boys were out in that van, merrily clanking away. They just turned up the radio to drown out the racket. I bet they turned heads! Cruising so cool in a filthy, handicapped-adapted minivan, 2 good-looking blond young suburban men ajammin' to the hip-hop:

"I got a nine-millimetuh
Because of the law, I have to conceal it
Don't fuck around, you gon' make me reveal it
I got a nine-millimetuh."

Yeah, you just know THAT was convincing. Hard core. Gangsta style. Thug life. That's my boy.

Again, I'm grateful nobody was injured. The brakes didn't fail, nobody was T-boned by an out-of-control minivan careening through a stoplight. But dammit boy, I need a new computer and now I have to get new brakes instead. Something tells me the price of repairs went way up because you just had to drive an extra hundred miles. The teenage girls of Yukon, Oklahoma could not be deprived of your presence for one day, and my van pays for their joy. Somehow, Mom always pays the price, doesn't she? (The answer is: Yes, because Mom is the only parent stupid enough to loan you her vehicle.)

Tomorrow we go car-shopping in earnest. Wish us luck!

Fruit of my Loins, Bane of my Bank Account