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Minivans: Never Say Never

I am the type of woman, who, in my child-less state, defiantly announced, “I will NEVER drive a minivan”

After child #1 I, with great conviction I reaffirmed, “I will NEVER drive a minivan.”

Child #2 came and I was quite content with my decision to NEVER drive a minivan.

Oh, the best laid plans of mice and men…

Big (child #1) was getting older and when friends wanted to come over after school or do things with us, we had to shove a third child in the back seat of my car or play logistical roulette to get anywhere.  But alas, I am not the minivan type.

I’m not a minivan mom.

I’m a cool mom.

Enter LuLu, my beloved 2008 Chevy Malibu. She traveled with me in my work with DHS, direct care, case management and bore the scars of two children and two clumsy adults.  Melted crayon in the door handle, 2-year-old spaghetti stains on the front seat, and an entire school of goldfish crackers under the car seats. My husband once left a pie tin full of mud in the back seat. Something about a Sunday School lesson he taught. Clearly, I’m still not over that one.  

LuLu had been hit, backed into, side swiped and been in a front-end crash. (Social work is rough, yo.) The passenger’s side mirror had been missing for 4 years, and I never even locked LuLu anymore because the locks didn’t work. Over the course of LuLu’s long 8-year life with our family, she finally had proven to be too expensive to fix for the 490th time. Financially, It had been a rough couple of years for our family. A longer-than-expected maternity leave coupled with our savings and emergency funds being depleted by home repairs and car repairs (i.e. LuLu) left us with a decision to make; Fix LuLu again and have literally nothing to use when she breaks again, or find another vehicle.

We’re not exactly car-payment people, so a good used vehicle was in our sights and I found myself marveling at the options available to us. My dear, sweet husband (full of grace as he is) caught me looking at minivans. He was horrified, like he had seen me looking at dirty pictures on the internet.

Minivans: Never Say Never

I was so excited because the van I was looking at had plenty of room to haul kids, haul supplies for work, locks, lights, doors, and had nothing stuck to the floor! I was like a kid in a candy store!

It was so sensible! So convenient! 

He indulged my delight and was soon onto the idea of a minivan as well. We always thought that, should we go full-on Duggars and have a bunch of kids, we’d just have a sweet SUV. But SUV’s do not have fun sliding doors. Or stow-and-go seating. Or DVD players. Or dual-climate-control. Or the ability to not have your doors ding other people’s cars in the Target parking lot as kids (or moms – don’t judge me) swing them open.

I was sold.

We conjured up every last penny we had to our name, took out a small loan from my in-laws and bought our white Town and Country. I knew I had joined the ranks of other moms who had given up on the idea of their coolness being connected to what they drive, because I was living the mom high-life. I treated myself to a window decal, rolled the windows down and cruised. I’ll leave my fellow minvan mamas with a brief poem that popped into my head as I reveled in my new-found convenience:

An Ode to the Mivivan

There once was a car named LuLu

A midnight blue Chevy Malibu

She carried kids, clients, and supplies

And more than her share of dropped french fries

 

Yet, one day she finally could hustle no more

It was time for her last ride, an encore

She went to live with a new family

And we set out to find something else, for me.

 

Imagine Ruby, if you can

I remember saying “Never!  Never!” to a minivan

The thought of the #momlife left me feeling hopeless

Yet clinging to the last of my dopeness

 

I climbed up into that heated, leather seat

Warm butt and all, it was pretty sweet

I blared “California Love” from ’95

And basked in the glow of #momthuglife


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