Team VW BUG!
On Sunday, in anticipation for an 11-mile road trip to the Chicago Walforf School, Cole bought his 1973 VW Bug (“June Bug”) that he is restoring for his senior project, a new battery, added oil and filled her tank with gas. My role was to have absolute confidence in Cole and the little June Bug That Could. I suggested that I should follow them both to school to witness their success. Did the thought that the Bug might throw a tantrum and leave my kid alongside the rode in freezing temperatures cross my mind? Yes…but in the most positive way.
My alarm went off at 5 a.m. I groaned, checked the temperature on my I-phone and groaned louder when it read -1, feels like -15. Did I mention the Bug’s heater is unreliable at best, and worst? For the next 25 minutes, I vacillated between you are out of your mind and go for it.
The Bug runs better than she ever has, but she has her surly moments and an intense dislike of being imposed upon on cold days. And baby, it was cold out there. The smart thing to do was for me to stay home and send Cole off to school in his Audi with the seat warmers. I was all ready to move to Plan B when an evil little voice in my head accused me of not having confidence in the June Bug.
The little voice was right. Cole had pushed the June Bug almost as much as he had driven her. On the other hand, through a lot of hard work, it seemed the Bug was running almost reliably. And then I considered that while there are thousands of people to tell Cole it cannot be done; there are thousands to prophesy failure; there are thousands to point out to him, one by one, the dangers that wait to assail him, his mother would clap her hands and believe. Again. (In case my sweet mom is reading this and shaking her head, I can assure you all that I get every ounce of my grit and can-do attitude from you. Thank you; I am passing it down to your grandson.)
Cole’s enthusiasm matched mine when he woke up and saw the temperature that greeted him, but he agreed it was now or never. So he put on his coat and he put on his hat and with of a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin, without any doubting or quiddit, he went out to give the Bug the bad news. The Bug was not amused, but eventually she agreed to come out for a drive…and off we went, hopeful for light traffic and green lights for the next 11 miles. (Once June’s get-up-and-go kicks in, she likes to keep moving.) Following behind in the Honda, I was proud of the Bug’s new blinkers, and brake lights. I admired the Bugs new fender, what a relief, we no longer had to worry about the old fender falling off in traffic. The Bug held her own on the road for most of the trip, but there were moments when I knew Cole was fighting to hold her together. During those moments, I knew I was gripping my steering wheel as tightly as Cole was gripping the Bug’s wheel. Perhaps she intuited that the mom driving behind her was going to kick her bumper so hard that she would get picked up in Milwaukee for speeding if she did not straighten up and drive right, because she only stalled one time on the way to school.
We pulled into the school parking lot. Cole and I got out of our cars exhilarated and shaky from sheer nerves, as well as because of the cold, 0f course. The June Bug, as always, was a smug Bug. (Bless her motor.) I left Cole and the Bug behind…but I’ll be back this afternoon to do the drive all over again. As I hugged Cole goodbye he whispered, “Just tackle the thing that cannot be done, and you’ll do it.” Then he asked me to bring him a second pair of wool socks for the ride home. We are going for the gold medal. Listen closely and you’ll hear the National Anthem playing.
Cole’s update about the trip home will be on his blog later tonight.
Please think warm thoughts for us. And if you are over by the school come on over and add your autograph
Odd Loves Company!