My car is a microcosm of my life as the mom of a kid with ADHD.
Empty cups and fast-food wrappers cover the floor. Legos, markers, mittens, and school papers add to the chaos. Every time Natalie gets in the car, she grabs all the toys she can carry and takes them with her, and there they stay. If she’s carrying her backpack, whether to school, or home from daycare, she can’t leave it zipped. She has to empty it out. There might be something interesting in it! The mess grows.
Crumbs, chocolate smears, and a blue stain from a melted crayon disgrace the upholstery. The windows and rear-view mirror are fingerprinted and cloudy. There’s a gaping hold where the cup holder used to be. Natalie kicked it and broke it off.
Plug your nose: There’s a moldy apple core and a sippy cup of soured milk under the seat, along with the remains of Nat’s school lunch from two weeks ago.
The trunk holds a laundry basket full of detritus that used to be in the car and that now awaits sorting, a garbage bag full of Natalie’s too-small clothes for drop-off at Goodwill, and plastic grocery bags for reuse by the public library. I’ll take care of them...later.
I’m six months past due for an oil change, and have limped along by adding a quart of oil--3 times. Who know how much damage was done before my last oil change, when I ran it completely dry before dragging in to the dealership?
I’m nearly out of gas. And what’s with that rust spot? How old is this car, anyway?
My car needs gas, an oil change, a wash, carpet and upholstery cleaning, and windows washed. I need a good night’s sleep (Nat woke up at 4:30), to have my hair cut and colored, healthy food, and some exercise. I need a chance to organize my household; time to organize my thoughts.
With a little TLC, and a little luck, we’ll both be good for a few more miles.