I’m struggling with the ending of a picture book. I have a respectable beginning and a robust middle. But what comes next?
This description reminds me of our station wagons. They all had a front seat, a back seat, a backward-facing way back, and a rear, drop-down tailgate. The way back was received with mixed feelings—fun until the time I let my 5 year old drink both chocolate milk and grape juice before we set out for a trip. Ewwwwww!
My first wagon was a large, gold—my husband scoffs—Chevy. After buying it used for $550 when the owner brought it to me, I possessed it for seven years. When it became a burden instead of a joy, we sold it. We even sealed the deal on the phone. Before the prospective buyer arrived, my husband started the wagon to make sure it was running. The new owner kicked a tire, handed us $200, and drove off. I loved that car, but its time had come.
My next wagon was a little less dramatic in its looks, being baby blue and smaller, and couldn’t live up to the high expectations I set with my first. Throwing up at the dealership didn’t help matters; at $5000, it was the first time I’d spent more than $1800 for a car. I didn’t really want it and didn’t trust it either. When clicking my baby daughter’s seatbelt into place—or so I thought—the belt released and dumped her on the floor! After happening twice, I knew it was time to shed myself of the baby blue traitor.
My next and last station wagon took us places we’d never been. With 65,000 miles on it at the time of purchase, we put another 55,000 on it in a few short years. The monstrosity eventually took us all the way to California. When the need for a transmission arose, we converted to a minivan . . . way back seat and all. Was that front-facing seat better? I’m not so sure. No more picnics on a tailgate because there was no tailgate. It lacked the perfect ending.
And, as you know, perfect endings are everything.