The last couple of months have been insane. More insane than usual. I have three kids, in three different schools with three different schedules. Usually between me, Dave, buses & trains we can get it done, but as the weeks have turned into months, it’s become increasingly time-consuming and (not that my kids are a burden!) burdensome. We’ve been falling into bed, well after 11 at night, exhausted. We needed help. And, really, help was right there in our house, in the form of our big moose: Cole.

Cole who had spent half a summer in North Carolina learning to drive with my parents. Cole who has his US and EU drivers licenses. Cole who cannot drive a stick shift for the life of him. Believe me, we tried. My dad tried. Dave tried. I tried. Stick shifts are beyond Cole.  He’s a beautiful driver otherwise, cautious, polite, attentive… but throw in that stick shift and all the car can do is lurch & die.

We saved up our pennies, scoured the want ADs and found an amazing deal on a 1997 VW Golf with only 87 KM on the odometer, and one owner. We pounced, snatched it up, and took it to the mechanic for minor repairs & the required winter tires (remind me to babble about the tires requirements in Germany one day). Yesterday it was 100% ready and Cole & I drove 20 miles away to pick it up. He wriggled in his seat, and had random bursts of giggles the whole way. I’d forgotten how exciting your first new car is, and despite being bargain hunters extraordinaire, Cole is absolutely thrilled with his very own, first car.

We drove home caravan style, Cole behind me, at a very safe distant, doing exceedingly well. Even in the gorgeous setting sun. It gave my poor worried heart a boost of confidence and my frazzled brain a peek at the freedom coming up.  I now have one less kid to get from A-to-B (and C and D…). As he gets more experience he can even help pick up Tess and lessen my load even  more. In fact, he’s already lessening my load by running to the store for milk & bread on his first night as a car owner!

I see his happy face, I feel my relief at my burden lessened, and I know that this is a normal first rite for boys. I even know that 19+ is a later age than most boys to start driving, but in my minds eye I look at his beautiful, perfect, handsome face and I see Jack. My heart breaks all over again at the loss of Jack in a single vehicle accident back in September. My heart breaks for me, for Cole but mostly for Jacks brother & parents.  And I am terrified to see my son drive, slowly, away from our house.


Cole & his new car… both born in 1997!