Back in 2005 I purchased a Subaru Outback Sport. It was red, I was single and it only had fifteen miles on it. I never thought to sit in the back seat. That little car took me to and from the mountains on the snowy back roads of Vermont, hauled me, my mom, two bikes, and several dozen small cans of real Vermont maple syrup across the country on my move west. It propelled Erin and me to many National parks and out of the way places throughout Utah and Wyoming. It has carried skis, bikes, search and rescue gear, sod, groceries, furniture and crystal glasses, Leunig and our little family all around the Salt Lake Valley and beyond.
I had been aware of the lack of space in the back seat of the car for a long time, but since I was always the driver or in the front seat I did not worry about it too much—until we placed Noah’s car seat in there and it was clear that our family had almost outgrown my beloved car. A short eleven months later that time has come, we purchased a larger car seat and after some grunting, swearing and sweating I got it installed into the back seat of the car. There was only one small problem. The only way to get Noah into the car seat was from the opposite side. The door frame was too small for him to fit into, unless we folded him in half. Taking a 20+ pound squirming child scrunching yourself down, so you can both fit in the door, and that sliding/ knee walking across the back seat to place said child into car seat is not an enjoyable experience. Taking them out is even less so.
We switched cars and weighed our options. I needed the all-wheel drive car more than Erin did as well as the car that could carry Leunig and Noah at the same time. My car was a standard which Erin was not very excited about driving. When she asked me to park the Subaru on the flat part of the driveway I knew this was less than an ideal situation we were in. It was decided that the next day Noah and I would go look at cars. That is all just look, to get an idea as to what would be best. We looked, we drooled, I asked lots of questions, and then the salesmen asked if we wanted to take a test drive.
I wrestled the car seat out of our car and into the new car. The back seat was like a banquet hall and the salesmen who was the about the size of the BFG said he could sit in the back seat with the front seat all the way back and still have room to spare. The car also had a moon roof; I have always wanted a moon roof. As a perk if you got the moon roof the car came with a back-up camera. This seemed strange to me and I asked the salesmen why this was; he had no idea. Then it occurred to me that moon roofs are flashy. My guess is mostly men want them which can be a hard sell to their wives, but if you tell your wife that you get a back-up camera with it she is more likely to allow it because of the safety factor. The designers at Subaru are clearly very clever and married. After the test drive Noah was asleep and I was ready to sign on the dotted line.
That evening the entire family was back to check out the car. Soon I was cleaning out my car. As I crawled around pulling out various odds and ends I was hit with a bit of sadness. I had purchased this car on my own, no co-signer, no having my folks look at it before I signed on the dotted line, nothing like that. They would give me $400 for my trade in and I just prayed it would start when they went out to inspect it. Since this new car had lots of room and a moon roof, the sadness did not last very long. As we came up to stoplight on our way home later that night, Erin looked at me and said, “Wow you really do have a sugar momma.” I looked around at my new car, at Noah sleeping in the back seat banquet hall and up at the moon roof, and knew she was right.