Team mom-n-dad is not just about sports, it’s about the journey.
As a parent getting older, I no longer have the luxury of hanging with my kids every day. One lives 200 miles away, one lives 1400 miles away and one lives 2400 miles away. So I do the next best thing… I remember! And as long as my mind is still good enough to remember stuff, I will. Now granted, right now I can’t remember where the heck I put my car keys or my anniversary, but I can tell you about the time Chad and I built a couple cars. Well a car and a truck. This story really isn’t so much about the vehicles themselves, so much as it’s about the time we spent together.
If you have kids living at home or living within shouting distance, savor every moment. I know its work, but make time to do stuff as a family. And as I always say, Team mom-n-dad is not all about sports. It’s about life. Being the team leader and big time sponsor for everything your kids do.
For Chad and I it was about the cars. Chad is a golfer by trade, and a darn good one, but growing up in Wisconsin golf is seasonal. So when he was young, he started spending time with his Uncle building street rods. Then he got a job at a body shop. Through it all he grew to really love cars. His email address is even, iliveforcars@….
So he and I spent a lot of time around cars and we both grew as painters, mechanic’s and car lovers.
The story of the Z/28 Camaro, is a good one. In 1979, my wife and I bought a 1978 Camaro from a friend of ours who worked at a Chevrolet dealership. 6000 miles and in perfect shape. We kept it for a year and then had our daughter and needed a van. We traded in the car and said goodbye to life in the fast lane. But being in the car business myself, I hung onto the VIN number. Fast forward to 1990 and I wanted to see if the car was still around. Lo and behold I tracked it down. Only 40,000 miles and in pretty good shape, but now we had three kids and there wasn’t money in the budget to buy it. Fast forward to 2002 and I tracked the car down again! Now it had 73,000 miles and was in really rough shape. Still out of our budget, I waited another 2 years before I brought it home. From then on, it took Chad and I nearly four years to build that car.
It was a lot of money, a lot of time and a lot of cold nights in the barn rebuilding it. I still remember coming home from work and Chad would have another section on the car sanded, primed or just flat out ripped apart. As a side note, it is always easier to rip stuff apart than put it back together, but we learned. While Chad was working at the body shop, we took the car there to get painted. Once we got it back we spent countless nights and weekends finishing it.
The car spent several years on the road here in Wisconsin, and then Team mom-n-dad trailered it behind the motor home to Southern California where Chad lived. A few more years there and we brought it back home and sold it shortly there after.
Selling that car was really hard. But the more I thought of it, it was the time Chad and I spent working on it that made the difference, not the car itself.
Remember to find something you and your kids love and do it together. I will tell you that it will be harder for you than them, but it will be worth it. Say you like golf and they don’t, they might not participate. But if he, or she, likes fishing and you don’t, make yourself. You’ll find that the time together is more important than the activity.
Remember, “We’re all in this together.”