Honest John’s Used Car Lot: You Park Them; I Sell Them

Honest John’s Used Car Lot: You Park Them; I Sell Them

 I should have been a used car salesman. I could have been very successful. I am persuasive, friendly and of course honest. And for five years I have had a constant array of vehicles to show prospective buyers. There is only one minor detail that is going to impede my car selling plans. The vehicles don’t belong to me.

My older boys have always had so many friends at the house that our yard looked like a used car lot. I have had neighbors and friends make that very observation on more than one occasion. Oh…your house is the one with all of the cars parked in front of it all of the time. One summer day before Randall left for college he called me with a very routine request. Dad, I have some friends over. Could you fix dinner for us? Sure…how many are we talking about? Just fifteen friends…Not a problem at all…

When Randall departed for college in 2007, my used car lot prospects diminished somewhat. Daniel followed suit by having friends over, but his friends came in pairs instead of by the dozen. Saturday Daniel leaves for college…All hope for my second career of selling reliable transportation is about to be dashed.

The absence of vehicles in my driveway has become an important symbol since 2007. Everyone told us that we would be overcome with emotion when we dropped Randall off at the dorm for the first time just prior to the beginning of his freshman year. That event went by with relative ease. But about two weeks later I came home one night and the yard was not filled with teen school cars. In fact, Randall’s car was not parked in its usual place. I cannot describe the wave of emotion that came over me that night.

After Friday night, I will come home to a driveway that is void of all teen school cars. Daniel’s vehicle will be situated in a dorm parking lot over 200 miles from home. (At least that is where it had better be situated!) The used car lot will be closed for business. There is nothing to sell.

Everyone told us to enjoy our kids as they were growing up. And we have indeed cherished every stage of their development. But you are never quite ready to let them go. Their independence triggers nostalgic sadness for mom and dad. I will miss all of their friends being here. I will miss cooking burgers and baking cookies. Mainly I will miss harassing all of them. It is going to be way too quiet, but not for long…

Mitchell is beginning his freshman year in high school next Monday. His friends are all too young to drive. But that won’t be the case for long. They will come in the double digit numbers. We may have to contract out with our neighbors to provide parking. But my used car salesman days are still over, because Mitchell will beat me to the punch. That kid was born to be a used car salesman. And what troubles me the most is that he might really sell his friends’ cars while they are visiting. He is such a good salesman that no one will question the absence of a title.

My advice today to young parents is simple: Enjoy your kids…They won’t live at home for long. They will soon fly your nest of love and seek their own lives.  And they will take their cars and their friends with them! I am sad today, because my hopes for a lucrative second career are over! And the name: Honest John’s Used Cars had such a nice ring to it…

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