I got called the cool dad today and it felt great.
I drive an older Jeep Wrangler. It’s just a fun car to drive. Its not terribly practical when it comes to hauling anything or anyone for that matter and it gets horrible gas mileage and also has no guts at all. Not sure how they got both of those things wrong in the same car, but they did. But for southern California weather its just so much fun to drive. Plus its red and my wife likes red.
We got the jeep as just an in between fun car. My old Ford Ranger finally died with 503k miles on it and we couldn’t decide on what car to get next. I would have loved another truck, but we didn’t necessarily need one. My wife wanted a BMW SUV and I knew we for sure didn’t need one of those. We didn’t have kids yet, so I suggested we get my wife a fun little convertible car to drive around for a year or two until we decide on what car to get next. We looked at a few, but didn’t really like anything we saw. I think my wife suggested a Jeep, I don’t really recall, but we started looking at those and they fit into the fun category. We could take the top off and cruise around and that sounded cool. So I found a used one that was red and that made my wife happy.
Fast forward to us having our first kid and now we’re not sure what to do with the Jeep. My wife wants to sell it to get something practical, but I balked and said its fine. He’s small, so he can fit in the cramped back seat for a while. Heck with the top down it may be easier to put the car seat in than the Prius! She’s not a fan of having him in the jeep with the top off as the protective mama bear side of her comes out, but I’m big on not over protecting our son, so it all balances out.
With that, and all the warm weather we’ve been having this summer I’ve been driving around with the sides and back off the jeep, but still keep the top up. This is great because you get all the nice air blowing around you and my son loves it as he sits backwards and in the Jeep he is up high and can see out the back and sides now vs staring at the back of the seat in the Prius. So we put on some good music and cruise around in the Jeep together and we love it.
I was picking him up from Grammy’s house (my mom) tonight as I often do and heading home. When I get to stop lights I reach back and put my hand in his car seat. I do this for two reasons. First is to see if he is still awake. As he sits backwards I can’t see him, so I put my hand back there to see if he’ll grab it and then I know if he is still awake or fast asleep. The other reason I do this, is to hold his hand as I really dig my little one. So as we come to a stop light, I reach back and he grabs my hand as he is still awake and happy. He’s playing with my fingers and I look past through the side of the Jeep to see a man with a big grin on his face. I can’t know for sure that Jackson wasn’t smiling also at him, but he does smile at most people so I assume he was. I smile back as he rolls down his window and says, “That is outstanding! You are the cool dad. I bet he loves that”.
My smile got even bigger and his comments made my night.
The light turned green, I cranked up the volume on a great song and we continued our cruise home.