To The Person Who Stole Our Car

Jen's car

Two weeks ago while my family slept, you crept onto our driveway and stole my car. I don't know how you did it, or why, but I have a few things I'd like to tell you.

First of all, you suck. My husband and I work hard for everything we have. We work hard to provide for our daughters and all the activities we (used to) drive to and from, everything we bought and brought home in that car.

Do you care about the family you stole from? Do you care that we are a family of four who love hockey, cottaging, ordering pizza, snuggling our pets and having dance parties? Does it matter to you that we donate and volunteer in our community? That we're kind to our neighbours and feed the ducks in our local pond? Probably not.

That car was part of our family. It saw us through many life changes. It delivered us home after "gotcha day" when we adopted our youngest daughter. It delivered us to the vet with our beloved dog wrapped in a towel for the last car ride of her life. I’ll never forget rubbing her belly, stroking her ears and crying the whole way there. That car also brought our new puppy home four years ago, our kitten last fall and the school gekkos at Christmas. It's taken us to emergency rooms, parties, hockey games, dinners out, holidays, work, meetings and celebrations.

I have to admit, part of me thinks I had this coming, and I’ll tell you why. Purchasing that car was a full on situation. My oldest daughter was five at the time and had only been part of our family for a year. She tended to develop very strong attachments to certain things, and to say she was horrified that we would callously exchange one car for the other is an understatement. After a meltdown in the crowded showroom I had to make up an elaborate story about how the old car was tired and needed to rest so it went to Cuba. (I don’t know why Cuba. I was under stress). Yup, I lied through my teeth so I could get something shiny and blue with a panoramic sunroof. See what I mean about karma?

When you took it, that car was filled with pieces of our lives. This is what really bugs me because none of it was valuable, none of it will be useful to you.

That swim bag on the floor of the passenger seat? That's my oldest daughter's. She's a competitive diver and you stole all her bathing suits, her favourite towel and her hair dryer. The colouring books, dolls and booster seat in the back? Those belong to my youngest. She just turned six.

I’ve had some of those CDs for more than 15 years. They kept us rocking on long drives. That music is also how I connected to my girls and started conversations about boys.

“Honey, do you know what “We went streaking in the park, skinny dipping in the dark, then had a ménage a trois” actually means?”

Every mom knows that if you have something important to discuss with your kids you wait until they're strapped into the car. My kids put the captive in captive audience. That car was where we had some of our best talks. It was full of memories and yes, we probably would have traded it in for something new in the next couple of years but that was supposed to be our decision, not yours.

And because I’m 42 in age and 105 in spirit, I was also a big fan of audio books. There were two in the car you stole and the library would like them back. (Side note, do you know how hard it is to find a 2016 car with a CD player in it? Every dealer looked at me like I had dementia. Apparently they’ve been replaced by connectivity packages and docking stations and who the hell knows what else. I just want my CD player back.)

The roof rack and the satellite radio? My husband used those on his long drives to and from Prince Edward Island every summer. I’ll never forget waiting to see that blue car come around the corner and the relief of knowing he'd arrived safely, that he was home.

The hot pink iPod and matching boxing gloves? Those were mine and I'm sure they look great on you. I hope you like hits of the 80s and stale sweat.

Here’s what I can’t figure out. Why would you want a seven-year old Volkswagen with a dented bumper, cracked windshield and horse stickers all over the back window? For parts? Joyriding? Because it was there? There are much nicer cars on our street, so why did you pick us? Were we somehow an easy target? I told my kids that the person who took our car probably didn't have much and felt they had no choice but to steal from us. If that's the case, you're welcome to it. As my six-year old says, “sharing is caring.”

But I can’t let you off the hook that easy because thanks to you my girls no longer feel entirely secure in their home. They want to know if you’ll come back, what you might take next time and if you’ll steal our new car too. They want to know why you did this, why it’s okay for you to just take whatever you want without asking. We’d been having conversations about this very thing after mysterious objects started turning up in pockets and school bags. My husband and I were trying to teach them that you can’t take other people’s things without permission, then you came along and stole our car. So thanks for that.

As much as I love the new car that’s sitting in my driveway now, I would still prefer to have my stuff, my old car, my peace of mind and my daughters’ sense of security. They’re more important to me than a shiny new ride, even if it does have a sunroof. And a CD player.

 

 

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Picture of Jen Millard

Author: Jen Millard

Jen Millard is a writer who's not afraid to say what everyone else is thinking about parenting and relationships. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram via @wineandsmarties and at wineandsmarties.com.

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