My son really, really loves cars. Mostly little Matchbox and Hot Wheels cars. And especially car carriers. Don’t ask me why, but he somehow fell in love with them recently and it’s all he seems to talk about. He has three toy ones that he plays with constantly. This one is his favorite because it holds the most cars…
He has books from the library with pictures of car carriers. And he sleeps with them. (I’m not kidding.) We’ve watched just about every YouTube video out there of car carriers loading and unloading cars. And of course, whenever we’re out and about, especially on the highway, we have to “keep our eyes open for car carriers!” (He says this over and over.)
Side note: He’s actually sitting at the table with me watching car carrier videos on YouTube right now as I type this blog post. HA!
So anyway, I think it’s adorable, and definitely want to foster his interest in them, if that’s what he’s into right now. I always told myself before I had kids that I wanted to make sure I encouraged my future children to learn and explore whatever it is they’re into, no matter what it may be. And I’ve often thought about calling a local car dealership just to see when they might have car deliveries so Dylan can see them in action. Maybe some day…
But yesterday as we were driving home to Centerville from a playdate in Beavercreek, we saw one right before our eyes. A huge, orange car carrier was exiting off of I-675 headed towards the car dealerships on Loop Rd. Of course, my son started shrieking and saying over and over, “It’s a car carrier, Mom! Woooow! Look! A car carrier!” It was after 2:00, and Dylan needed a nap in a BIG way. I had to pee. I had a million things to do at the house. But instead of being practical and saying “Yeah, cool huh?” and heading for home, I spontaneously said…
“Hey buddy? Ya wanna follow it?”
I wish I had a picture of his face when I asked him this. He kind of gasped, then said in disbelief, “Yeeeeeeah, Mom!” So this crazy mama cut across three lanes and followed behind the big orange monstrosity with seven new Acuras hanging all over it. What was I doing? Was this crazy? What if this guy is just going to turn around or something and get back on the highway? If he stops, will he think I’m crazy if I pull over and watch? But the other side of me said, WHO CARES. My kid wants to see a car carrier. Let’s do it.
At first, the carrier just pulled over to the side of the road, so we drove into the Mercedes dealership next to it and got out to take a closer look. (I felt absolutely ridiculous driving into a luxury car dealership, by the way. I’m sure I stood out like a sore thumb in my eight year-old red Saturn Vue. I didn’t care though. I was totally on a mission and had no problem looking like a fool for my kid.)
Dylan was totally enamored.
After a few minutes, the car carrier headed around the corner to the Acura dealership. (Thank God it didn’t head back down the highway.) We jumped back in the car and waited to see what its next move would be. It parked in the center turn lane on the road in front of the dealership, and the driver got out and walked inside. I parked the car. Dylan was on the edge of his seat waiting to get back out and have a closer look at the car carrier again when the driver walked out again and headed toward his truck.
(Enter crazy mom.)
“Excuse me! Are you the man driving that car carrier?” Obviously, he was. But I didn’t want him to know I had been stalking him for the past ten minutes.
“Well, I have a toddler who would just love to watch you unload the cars, if that’s alright? Could we, um, get out and watch you?”
“Sure,” he said. And Dylan FLIPPED.
I couldn’t get him out of his car seat fast enough. He was kicking and waving his arms and saying, “Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!” We rushed over to the grassy area in front of the dealership near the car carrier. And waited. And watched…
Yes, we sat in the grass like it was a parade and watched this guy unload cars one by one off the big orange monstrosity. It was cold and windy. It was kind of boring at times. BUT. Dylan’s excitement was completely worth it.
I’m sure we looked like a couple of hillbillies sitting in the grass watching this kind of spectacle. Who cares. I’m sure I got funny looks from the Acura people when we went into their dealership a few minutes later so Dylan could go potty. Who cares. And I know for a fact that I was even more far behind on housework and Dylan was a total cranky-pants because he got his nap late. But you know what? Who cares. For thirty minutes yesterday, the only thing that mattered was watching and learning from this man unloading a car carrier.
To me, it was important for Dylan to see this little piece of how the world works. It was important for him to see that people have occupations like this. It was important for him to see where the cars come from, how they get to the dealership, and someone works hard to get that done. It was important for him to see that his Mommy recognizes and validates his passions and will take the time to help him learn more about them. But let’s be honest. The most important thing was that I took time out of our day to just sit and watch and take the time to do something unexpectedly special for him. I didn’t know when I’d have an opportunity to do this again, and I wanted to make a memory for him that he would remember for days to come. I hope I accomplished that.
I know that it’s unrealistic to think that moms can just drop what they’re doing on a whim and follow their children’s desires and do whatever they want at any given moment. Of course.
But when you find yourself saying “no” or “not now” or “maybe later” or “maybe one of these days” or “mmm-hmm” or “honey, maybe another time”, it sure feels good to say for a change, “You know what? Yes. Let’s do it. Right now.” And really knock your kid’s socks off.