We just bought a new car. We have a minivan, too, but this new car is the one that will replace the car we bought in the summer of 2003, just months before we got married. Our old silver Toyota Corolla has taken us on several road-trips from Vancouver to Hamilton, and Hamilton to New Mexico and back again, from New Mexico to Vancouver, from Vancouver to California, and all over British Columbia. It has driven us both to many jobs and homes, to parties and friends and weddings and funerals. But now it has lost all its hubcaps, there’s a dent in one side from that time I backed into the fire hydrant on our old driveway, and one in the other side from when Anton backed our van into our car (ahh, memories). To open the driver side door, you need to roll down the window first and reach out to the busted handle on the outside of the door, and there is no air conditioning, no interior lights … and the engine isn’t working all that great anymore either. This car is as old as our marriage, and it is full of memories, including bringing our first two newborn daughters home for the first time. It was a good car, and reliable, but it’s time for a change. We needed a new car.
My husband, Anton, is the one who usually drives the car these days, so he was the one who was more invested in the purchase of the new one. We had talked about it, and decided together what we were looking for and what our budget was, but I said that I didn’t care about make or model as long as it had air conditioning, an auxiliary input, and all of its hubcaps. Well, it did not take him long to decide to replace our 1998 light silver Toyota Corolla with … a 2013 dark silver Toyota Corolla. And he’s just thrilled with it.
You see, my husband possesses a rare characteristic that is just so admirable, even if it does mean my first drive in our new car was a little more boring than I’d anticipated. When it comes to the big things in his (our) life — job, family, home, car — he’s just so content. He may be a worrier in general, and he maybe isn’t what you’d call “easy-going” in most areas, but if he knows what he likes, he simply doesn’t care at all what he may be missing. Some people worry about the grass being greener on the other side of the fence; Anton just isn’t curious about what’s over the fence as long as his own grass is relatively green. He’s content.
I never appreciated this quality in him more than when I was pregnant with my third baby, and then again with my fourth. You see, when you already have two children of one gender, everyone assumes you are hoping for the other gender with your third. And if those children are girls, they definitely assume that “Daddy must really be hoping for his boy, now!” And, as I’m sure you can imagine, these assumptions only get worse when you have three daughters and baby number four is on the way.
However, Anton never once indicated to me, or to anyone else, that he was hoping for a boy. “No way!” He’d respond to this constant question. “I know girls; I LOVE my girls. Why would I want something different?” And the crazy thing is that he totally meant it. Even in the ultrasound room, finding out the gender of baby number four, he expressed nothing but excitement for the news we received. And why shouldn’t he be excited? We were batting three for three when it came to awesome baby girls; who wouldn’t want another one of those? Grass: green.
So, we will drive our new Toyota Corolla until it dies, and then we will probably replace it with the 2026 model, in silver if it’s available. And we will also be totally grateful for the amazing privilege of loving and raising our daughters, never knowing what it would have been like to have had a boy, even though it probably would have been great. Because even if the grass may be greener on the other side, ours is pretty amazing over here, too.