Every time I pull up to our local car wash, the salesmen will ask if they can buff out all the scratches on the side of my car. “We can get that out for you,” they say. Numerous bikes, scooters, and other toys have scratched the sides of my car. As they look a little closer, they always look surprised when they realize there is more than random scratches. “Hey, do you know you have 2 names scratched into your car?” they ask. I always smile and nod, “Oh, yes.”
About eight years ago I was headed out to run some errands when I realized there was a name scratched into the side of my car: “LEvi.” I couldn’t believe that my child would scratch his name in the paint of my car! When I asked Levi about it however, he denied it. His response: “But I don’t write my name with a capitol E!”
Levi is autistic and pays close attention to detail so I knew instantly he was telling the truth. He didn’t write his name in my door. There was a child however, with a capital E in her name. I called Ellie over and she eventually admitted to writing her brother’s name in the door of my car.
BJ and I weren’t happy with our young writer, but were impressed that she hadn’t written her own name. She almost got away with it. She had the opportunity to learn about car care for the next month and assist me in cleaning the car each Saturday. After I while I re-framed my thinking about the name and I thought it was a humorous story.
A few years later our babies were old enough to learn their letters and another name appeared on the door of my car. Yep, again! This time Ellie’s name appeared in the door but I suspected she hadn’t done it. She was older and had learned her lesson.
This time Grace admitted to writing her sister’s name in the door. I had a couple of bait and switch artists on my hands: two girls had scratched names on my car but both were smart enough not to do their own names. They both got caught, however.
Many years have passed since my two sweet but mischievous girls have written on my car. And I admit my car would look “newer” without the names. However, every time I see those names, I remember the story of how they got there. And I see an expression of love. And I remember two girls who were so excited to show off their new skills, so excited that they wanted me to see it each time I drove my car. And now instead of scratches, I see love letters. Love letters carefully written, just for me.