Cars through the stages


My first car was a little silver thing. I named her Baby. Baby had just two doors, but that didn’t stop most of my college friends from squeezing into the back when the choice was squeeze or wait for the next train. Her trunk was small but provided just enough space for my laundry and my backpack. I didn’t need much space for hauling things back then.

Baby lasted me through my college years and my first several years as a single, working woman. She transported my small collection of things from my college dorm room to my ‘off-campus’ house, to my first apartment and then, to the apartment I shared with my then-boyfriend, now-husband.

Inside that little, silver thing, we drove out of our apartment’s parking garage for the last time as fiancées.

The day my husband and I returned home from our honeymoon, Baby wouldn’t start. She just sat their silently, unresponsive to every desperate key turn. Less than a week later, I took one last photo of her before we said goodbye.

Baby saw me safely through one entire phase of my life. Then she dropped me at the doorstep of the next and quietly faded away.

As brand new newly weds, we opted for a sleek sedan and named her Zoe. Zoe stayed with us for a good while too. We drove her through our married-without-children days. You know the ones – mostly carefree (even if it doesn’t feel that way at the time) ready to go at a moment’s notice. Spontaneous and adventurous, Zoe took us places.

But, eventually, that phase passed too.

In our search for a family-friendly car, one that was large enough to accommodate our growing family, I spilled the beans about our little bean to the car salesman about a month before some of my friends and family heard the good news. That’s the way it goes sometimes. A couple of hours later, we brought Maddie home

Safely nestled within Maddie, both of our babies came home from the hospital. Maddie saw more parks and playgroups than any car to have come before her. Sand and cheerio crumbs became one with her interior. More tears echoed within her four doors. But more laughter too.

And so it goes, the time came for Maddie to move on too. Because in a million ways, big and small, the two-kid life is just different. And it needs different things.

So today, we ride in our Kia Sorento. Her name is Lucy. Lucy will visit far more parks than Maddie. After just a few months with us, she already wears a healthy coating of crumbs and sand. Double the laughter and tears have already echoed within her four doors. And we’re not even close to done.

Lucy is the first of our cars to be named by a child. She shares her name with a teddy bear that sleeps in my daughter’s bed, as both happened to join us around the same time. She proudly wears the logo of my daughter’s preschool. It is not unusual for two strollers and a random assortment of preschool artwork to be shifting around in her trunk. There are toys crammed into every pocket and snacks hidden in all of her compartments. She already bears the milk stains of a reliable kid-transporter.

Lucy joins an already long line of cars that are just perfect for the stage of life we’re in. And we love her.

Do you have the perfect car for the stage you’re in? Do you name your cars like we do?


I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


  1. You know, I have always named my cars but I haven’t named the minivan we bought when I was four weeks pregnant with Des and we realized our California-based Camry was not up to the task of a family of four.

    Now I’m inspired! My first car was Helga. My second car wasn’t named because he was pretty terrible and I knew he wouldn’t last. My third car was Ben. Sigh. Sweet Ben. He saw me through a lot of living and I’ll always remember it most.
    Tamara recently posted..It’s a Flood or It’s a Drought.My Profile

    • Ben and Helga are awesome names for cars! It is such a jump – family of 3 to family of 4, isn’t it? Still strikes me as funny that the car that works for one doesn’t necessarily fit for the other.

  2. Lol, I love the names! I dont name mine, but we do classify whether it’s a “girl” car, or “boy” car. I just got a car thats perfect for the stage Im in. No more babies, so we can take care of our cars more and get more expensive ones.
    Tess recently posted..Sweet Slow cooker MeatballsMy Profile

  3. I have never named a car, but like you, I can go back in time and connect different memories with every car I’ve owned and with different stages of my life. I definitely have a “mom car” these days, too!
    Ilene recently posted..The Good NeighborMy Profile

    • Love my mom car! I actually hadn’t thought much about it until I sat to write this but cars are so very woven into my memories of periods of time in my life.

  4. My car (a 2003 Pontiac Grand-Am) does fit the stage I’m in – it’s four-door, because I’m a dad, but it has a spoiler, which prompted Grace’s classmate to ask if I was a racecar driver. Too cool.

    It has just enough room to fit everyone. It’s decent on gas, has a good stereo, and room in the trunk for a bag of soccer balls and contraband snacks for the girls and me.

    Loved this post. I think cars mark an era in our lives.
    Eli@coachdaddy recently posted..5 for Friday: Go Ask Daddy About Ke$ha’s Drink, Parking Violations and Underwater Gun PlayMy Profile

    • So funny – when I was a kid,a spoiler and/or a convertible roof meant race car to me – and now my daughter seems to have come to the same conclusion!

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