The Honeymoon is Over.

June 16, 2011 § Leave a comment

When I was little, my dad taught me the word “anthropomorphic.” He said it meant “something that looks like a face but isn’t.”

I loved knowing this big word and was so excited when the topic came up in one of my elementary school classes. My hand shot up. “Something that looks like a face but isn’t!” I said, when the teacher asked if anyone knew what it meant.

“Not exactly,” she said, completely baffled, and then went on to say it’s the personification of something that isn’t alive.


Anyway, the fact that this is the biggest word I ever learned as a child was no accident. When I think back, there were all kinds of examples of things I (or my family) “brought to life” to make growing up more fun. And actually, since I still name or personify most things in my life, this practice remains pretty important to me. I name things and they’re my friends. I am more loyal to these things than I should rationally be. But this has never been a real problem.

Which is all a big set-up to this: Herkie (my car) and I. The honeymoon is over.

There is a new boy in town. And another new boy or girl on the way.

You see, Herkie doesn’t have air conditioning. Or, I guess Herkie does have air conditioning but it only really works when it is cooler than about 50 degrees outside. When it’s warmer than 50 degrees outside, the a/c works for a while but not if you  have to idle. Only if you keep moving.

Since this started a few years ago (ok, maybe 7 years ago), it has always been only a minor inconvenience. After all, it’s only “way too hot” for a few days each year and on those days I either don’t drive Herkie or wear a tank top and suck it up. How. Ever. During that hot streak last week, I found myself in a situation where neither of these options was all that viable.

When I got to Hike’s daycare to pick him up, he had the Sweaty Head. So sweaty, in fact, that at first I had assumed they had just finished the activity fondly known as “water play.”

“Nope.” The teacher said. “He’s just hot.”

This. After the hair cut and everything.

My not-quite-as-sweaty-head went immediately to Herkie, baking in the 100 degree heat. I thought of buckling my baby up in the hot back seat and taking him home.

I didn’t want to go there.

But, what choice did I have? Sleeping overnight at daycare wasn’t an option. “And besides,” I told myself, “It’s only 15 minutes. I’ll run the air.”

I strapped Hike in (“Hot.” he said) and buckled myself up too. At this point, e-Lou was protesting a little – sending up barf + dizzy signals to let me know I was pushing it.

I cranked up the air and pressed on. Things were tolerable until we hit traffic in an unusual spot. And then… we were stuck.

“Hot.” Hiram said from the back seat.

“Take this.” said e-Lou from inside my gut.

“Roooooaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrr!” said Herkie as he started to overheat on the black, sunny asphalt of 35W.

For the first time in my life, I didn’t want Herkie anymore. I hated that he was complicating things. I hated that he was making my sweet baby’s face all pink. I hated that he was overheating e-Lou.

I hated Herkie!

It’s been more than a week now and admittedly, Herkie’s already working his way out of his hole. I’m trying to  make amends too and have resolved to get his air conditioning fixed. But the experience was eye-opening. A silly but poinent reminder that my priorities are changing.

Life is all about fun and games. But only until one of my babies gets hurt.


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