I am complicated. Truly, sometimes I can’t even figure out what is going on between the layers. Yesterday, in a whirlwind event, Brian traded in his twelve year old car. Actually, it was mine first. This beautiful van that holds images of memories. I wasn’t prepared. But, when dealing with my spouse, I should expect the unexpected.
He went to the dealership after doing a ton of research. The van had reached its aging point. Heat had gone out and things were starting to breakdown. It was time and Brian deserves a new car. What I wasn’t prepared for was the emotional component attached to saying goodbye to this twelve year old vehicle.
We bought the van a few weeks after Bryce started kindergarten. It transported my Dad for his last Thanksgiving a few months after the purchase. It drove us to the funeral home after he died. There have been countless excursions from trips to the beach to school functions. I have participated in contemplative conversations with friends while sitting in the carpool line. I transported a variety of kids and felt, at some point, if I had a bathroom in it, it would be the perfect ride. While I hadn’t actively driven it in a couple of years, it was a comfort to see it in the driveway. It was a box of memories.
So, when Brian came rolling in with his new car, I found myself unhappy. In fact, I sucked the joy right out of the experience. At first, the little green eyed monster had perched itself on my shoulder. But then, as I talked about it with someone else, I realized that jealousy was really a mask for grief. That van represented the boy’s childhood to a degree. With Bryce on the cusp of moving on to college, this just took a little jab to my heart.
So, I owned my initial behavior. I apologized to my spouse who has worked hard to be able to purchase his new ride, for my lack of enthusiasm. In my head, I know the van was just a means of transportation, but my heart holds a tremendous gratitude for keeping us safe, comfortable, and above all, for the memories.