My father came to stay with our family this summer. We spent a week of doing fun things with the kids. One of the places we took him was a car museum. I pass by it almost every day and had not yet visited it.
I didn’t know exactly what to expect. I figured, at a place with Speed in its name, we’d find a ton of fast cars. I was very excited to go; I love cars and so does my dad.
After walking around a while, at the museum, I noticed that there weren’t only fast cars, but some serious classic cars on display. Some of them were around when my grandparents were very young. Others cars my father owned at one time or another. ‘How neat!’, I thought.
It was neat alright, until, at the end of our visit, I found my old car.
UGH!! MY car in a MUSEUM!!!??? I was shocked, and said so, out loud! My children, all three of them, carried on through the museum with no regard what-so-ever. They didn’t get it. Mom was 37 and her car is in a museum…they saw nothing wrong with it.
Walking through the aisles of cars, I kept doing the math, since I really thought it was silly that a car I used to own was on display in a museum…as a classic. ‘Is that car really a classic? Is that car really that old? What year was that?’ I mean, I didn’t buy the car as a classic. It was used, it was seven years old when I got it. Am I really that old?
No matter how I added it up, the numbers did not lie. My car, the one I thought was the cat’s meow of a sports car when I was 19; a 5 speed with t-tops and bucket seats was now sitting in a museum, it was 23 years old, and considered a classic in most states.
I never was the type to care about aging before. But today, I sort of felt a little uneasy. Honestly, around my birthday, I usually enjoy being a year older. It didn't bother me how old I was and would tell friends, ‘you couldn’t pay me to go back to being younger again’. Not after how each year I grow and overcome obstacles, correct mistakes, improve on my weaknesses and find new strengths. I loved aging….until of course I found my car in a classic car museum.
Looking back, I don’t know what the big deal was, it was just a car, in a museum.
But last week, I found out that the car-in-the-museum-thing was just a small taste of what was to come, a preparation of sorts. Because,on Halloween, I realized it was my 21st anniversary of getting my driver’s license. Then one night I woke up at 4 a.m. sweating (when I’m usually a freeze baby). And the other day, I found a gray hair while getting ready for work….ssshhhh, don’t tell anyone…I pulled it out.
No, I should not have been bothered by my car being labeled a classic and put into a museum…because I had a bigger set of things lurking in the shadows to remind me that I was getting older.
You know, though, this could be okay. I mean, wine is better with age, right? And so is cheese. Besides, what's wrong with being a classic? Yes, YES! Aging is a good thing!