I was the poster mom for the “I’m never driving a minivan” club. I judged. I scoffed. I rolled my eyes at the convenience.
I spent the first four years of motherhood driving my Subaru Outback, content, happy, sometimes squished and sweaty, but still not driving a minivan.
I hung onto hope that our 4-wheel drive wagon would take us on far away adventures in the mountains with our two kids, a tent and a canoe – you’ve seen the commercials. I was daydreaming and delusional. If the Subaru couldn’t hold up to it’s promise, could those ugly rockets really promise a life of ease?
I would soon find out. A few too many bad road trips coupled with an overzealous four-year-old door opener – aka human denting machine – and we slid (rather my husband pushed me) down the very slippery slope and right into the Honda dealership.
I blame my husband entirely. It was his idea…he was so happy to purchase a miniature van that he was actually whistling in the dealership. Can you imagine? Whistling!
He did all the things – the schmoozing, the wheeling, the dealing, the paperwork. I couldn’t face it – I could barely test drive it. I spent the good part of our nearly 8 hours at the dealership in the parking lot sucking down secondhand cigarette smoke just to feel alive and dangerous.
I called my best friend from that parking lot. She had just been duped into a minivan by her own husband a few months earlier. I was looking for a partner, someone to commiserate and give me ammunition to march back in there and tell salesman Tony where he could shove his Odyssey.
But, what I heard instead was “I know I’m supposed to be on your side, but….(long pause) I’m actually on Bret’s.” WHAT!?! This can’t be happening…I’m on an island. Alone.
She continued, “Listen to me, if you can just suck it up, I guarantee within 48 hours you are going to love it. This will be the best decision you ever make.” And, so with one last deep breath of nicotine filled air, I sulked back into the dealership, tail between my legs.
Moments later, I kissed my Outback goodbye and drove off with the sinking sun at my back – my dignity and dreams slowly dying with the daylight.
Well, I’m here to tell you my bestie was dead wrong. It didn’t take 48 hours – it took less than 48 minutes.
My name is Kate, and I freaking love my minivan.
But, Kate, how? Why? It’s so not you! Oh…but it is. I am a loud and proud minivan driving convert.
1. For all the little things it knew I needed before I knew I needed them.
A cooler, built in retractable sun shades, back up camera, right turn camera, tiny compartments for E-V-E-R-T-H-I-N-G. My minivan anticipates my needs like it has known me for years and has been waiting for me all along.
2. The doors. Period.
With the push of one tiny button the doors slide open like a spaceship, and miraculously close with that same tiny button. Why on earth don’t all cars have sliding doors?? It is just so darn convenient.
3. It can fit all the people.
I have yet to face a scenario where the following sentence is true. “Sorry guys, no more room left in the minivan.”
4. The trunk is surprisingly gigantic.
We packed a family of four and two weeks worth of Christmas luggage in the back of our van with room to spare. How is the trunk soooo deep?
5. There are 16 cup holders.
16!!!! That means everyone in my family can each have 4 beverages, AT. THE. SAME. TIME.
6. My car isn’t the thing that makes me uncool.
My life is. Ha, but seriously. No one is going to mistake me for a twenty-year-old sorority girl. My kids think I have the coolest car in the world, and gosh darn it if they aren’t right.
So I do what any proud minivan driving mom would do. I roll down those windows, put on my shades and blare Toddler Radio as loud as their little ear drums allow…and ride.
Photo by chrisf608