Fresh oil

April 24, 2007 at 11:32 am | Posted in family, Love, Sean | 11 Comments

I got my oil changed this morning. Finally. Sean and I had been planning on doing it ourselves because it is cheaper and messier and much more fun that way, but we couldn’t seem to find the time. Sean comes home from work at 5 o’clock Monday through Saturdays and we spend our Sundays with our family or going on outdoor excursions, leaving little time to clean the house, cook the dinners, and then jack up my car before daylight ends.

3,000 miles overdue and not wanting to blow my engine because we were simply too busy, I took the car to Mr. Transmission–as always–and paid a lot more money than it would’ve cost us to do it ourselves. But the people are always nice there and most of the time they remember my name.

When I was a kid, my father used to change the oil in our cars on Saturday mornings. He’d throw on his holey and almost unwearable boat shoes and his most raggedy pair of similarly holey jeans and change the oil car by car. I would ride my bike, which we had painted the same color as his 1970 Chevy truck, and soak up the sun as my father’s legs poked out from under the hood.

I like that memory. Saturday morning oil changes always came with great bonding moments. When asked years later what my father smells like, my answer was gasoline, tobacco, and green grass. I left out the smell of Old Spice, which he often smelled of, because when I remember my childhood with my dad I remember us always outside as my father mowed the lawn and tinkered with our automobiles.

Sean reminds me of my father on occasion. He gets dirty often, wears that raggedy old Red Sox cap and mud-stained work boots, and tinkers under the hood of my car. They both love baseball, rarely eat candy, stick their tongues out when they get excited about a sport, and order the same food at restaurants. But although they sometimes share the same mannerisms, there’s a difference between my father and Sean, too. Sean loves me eternally and wants nothing but love in return. My father seems to want me to be something I am not and never makes an effort to spend time with me. I used to miss it at first, those memories lost with my dad, but I’ve moved on.

I always tell Sean that when we have kids, he should not be like my father. The kids come first, no matter what curve ball life throws; nothing is more important than being a Mom or a Dad. Sean always sticks up for my dad and tells me that although he acts as if he really doesn’t care about me at all, he loves me and will always love me.

But I’d rather look to the future than dwell on the past, and it warms my heart when Sean tells me that he can’t wait to teach our kids how to ice skate or throw a ball, how to tie a shoelace, and how to change the oil on a Saturday morning.

Your own childhood memory or the story of someone you love in comments.

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