Dan bought his 2002 Toyota Tundra in 2003, three years before he graduated college. He’s driven this truck through undergraduate school, graduate school, five jobs, three houses, two kids, one dog, and one wife. The truck is still running, but it has over 216,000 miles on it! It has an extended, but not a crew, cab and so although it can (barely) fit one rear-facing convertible car seat and one infant seat, it cannot fit two rear-facing convertible car seats (yes, our 3-year-old still rides rear-facing – it’s five times safer than forward-facing and she is well under the height and weight limits to remain rear-facing). We’ve known for a long time that we were going to need to upgrade the truck and now seemed like as good of time as any, before any more maintenance costs crept up and before Lillian needs to move into a convertible car seat.
A few days before Dan’s 34th birthday, he came home from work very excited – he’d found the truck that he wanted to buy! However, it was $6K more than what we had agreed we would spend. I quietly let him pitch his purchasing plan to me and then, when he’d completed his proposal and looked nervously at me, I smiled at him and said “Happy Birthday! Get it!” I think that he was surprised, but I was mostly relieved that the search was over and I wouldn’t have to get him another birthday gift.