This is a picture of my very first car.
At the tender age of 17, my father matched the $1000 I saved working at Taco Bell and took me to buy a Dodge Omni. Guess who also had a car note? This chick! Yes, my car note was about $100 a month. I drove that little machine any and everywhere. $20.00 on pump 5 would last me for a good two weeks.
I was in the kitchen this morning thinking about my children and how my parenting style has changed over the years. My mother told me long ago that because I was the oldest “you were my guinea pig for parenting”. The guinea pig child is the one that parents experiment on. The crash test dummy used to see if certain techniques will stick and stay.
Well, I have come to realize that my oldest child received the Dodge Omni parent. She was my guinea pig 19 years ago. I was young, naive, and like my Omni I was clean on the outside, but a mess on the inside. We listened to rap music, ate McDonald’s on a regular basis and didn’t focus on readin’, writin’ and ‘rithmetic the way we should have. All. While. Riding. In. The. Omni.
My son who came 4 years later received the Ford Focus of parenting. I leased the Focus when it first came out. It was affordable, compact and new. Inside and out. But like any leased car, you keep it for a certain period of time and give it back. I had the car for 5 years and my son lived with me for 5 years until my husband and I divorced and he lived with his dad full time. (Check out this link for more information on that journey). My son just like the new car taught me about being more responsible and to cherish the people and things that God entrusts to you.
Then, last but not least, 8 years later here comes my youngest. She is the brand new Kia Soul of the group. This was my first time having a foreign made car. I paid careful attention to the interest rate, mileage, safety features, and all of the extra amenities when buying the car. My Kia Soul benefited greatly from my experiences with my other cars. And just like the Kia Soul my 6 year old has benefited tremendously from the mistakes, challenges and mishaps of my Omni and Ford Focus style parenting.
But the beauty in being a Kia Soul Parent is that ALL of them get to share in this moment. As parents we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of our everyday responsibilities. We forget about the little people who are watching us do what we do. We need to have parenting goals as well as business, romantic and health goals.
I am declaring that as I work on upgrading my car to Mercedes Benz status that my parenting style supersedes it…Then my children can wake up everyday like this.