Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Well, I Caved.

I've never wanted a minivan.

In fact, the thought of driving a minivan was suffocatingly uncomfortable to me, like trying to squeeze into a sweater that doesn't fit. There was something about the stereotype of a minivan that wedged itself into my brain and made me think that there was no way, no how, I would ever drive one.

I think, for me, it boiled down to one thing: Sex appeal. Yep, I said it. Bearing two children and caring for them had done enough wear on my body, so, buying a minivan felt, to me, as though I were hammering the final nail in my Sex Appeal coffin. Goodbye, attractive wife. Hello, SOCCER! I mean, I love being a Mom and obviously the changes to my body were well worth it--good grief, they were beyond well worth it. And, being a Mom brings out an awesome sexiness to my husband I wasn't expecting (lots of honesty here, sorry!). However, my life did not drown into my children and amidst the diaper changes and juice stains I do attempt to maintain some sort of attractiveness, be it a shower or, at least, mascara.

And, beyond that, it seemed to me that a minivan represented the next stage in life. I'm not sure how to explain it, but for some reason it seemed like I could have kids and still be young and fun, but owning a minivan would change that by somehow vaulting me into the next stage of YOU ARE A MOM AND ONLY A MOM AND HAVE NO OTHER IDENTITY, something of which I was a tad leery.

I guess it just boiled down to the shallow fact that it is possible for me to allow myself to find my value in inanimate objects. Which is, in a word, lame. Lamer than a van.


A lot of my friends, nay, most of my friends are moms who drive minivans. And I've never thought twice about it. But for the aforemetioned sex appeal and identity crisis reasons, I assumed I would simply be an SUV mom forever.

But you know what? Sometimes things don't always turn out the way we think they will. So, we found ourselves perusing the minivan market and settled on this one. After driving one, my mind sort of flipped a switch and I was able to see the car for what it was--an extremely functional vehicle that would experience these early years with me. A poor vehicle who's seats and floors would undoubtedly be covered in spit-up and food stains, with french fries wedged under the front seats. The car just needed to survive these crazy years of kiddos. Then, a few years down the road, perhaps I could buy that dream SUV. But for now, a van suddenly made sense.

We were able to trade our old car, pay a small bit, and buy this baby outright, which was a huge blessing. And, after driving it for a while now, I'm in love. I get it. The automatic doors. The stow-n-go seats. Lots of buttons to push to make everything open and close. I get it. It's convenient. And right now, life is very much about convenience!

So, friends, meet a very recent Van Convert.

It was a very windy day when we bought the car, obviously.

But see? I'm smiling. I'm smiling because I get it now. I will still carry my big bag and curl my hair and wear sundresses. In my minivan.

So, next time you're in the drive-thru at Starbucks, stuck behind a van, cursing the existence of vans, take the time to think that perhaps you are behind a recent Van Convert who, like you, hated the thought of the V-A-N, but decided that perhaps, for her family, it was just the best way to go. For now.

And then pay for her drink. Because chances are she's there because she desperately needs a morning pick-me-up. :)

Have a lovely day!


  1. Oh no, you caved! ;)

    I'll never get the minivan appeal. I'll be sure to buy your coffee if I'm ever stuck behind you...

  2. You forgot to mention the REAL reason to get a van--more room for antique shopping once those seats are stowed! ;) I love the van. It is cool. You're still cool. And I'll ride around with ya any day! :)

  3. I was like you on the minivan thing. But now that I have one, I think, "Good grief, why didn't I do this sooner?!?" Seriously. I do not know how people have multiple small children and NOT have a minivan :)
    Congratulations and welcome to the minivan mom club!

  4. AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH! You did it!

    I'm still in the anti-minivan mindset. I'm going to hold on to my "cool" mama SUV status as long as possible. I betcha when it's time for me to get a new ride in a year or two I might just give the minivan a second look. They certainly are convenient. And, I must say you do look sexy next to that minivan girlfriend, rock on! :)

  5. HAHA! Love it! I was there once also. I grew up with my mom always having a minivan and thought I would be a cool hip mom with a cool hip vehicle. Ha. Once I became I mom everything changed. Actually, I still didn't want a van after becoming a mom.;) But a few kids later and I was so ready to get one. CONVENIENCE out weighs the view I had of myself of that "cool" mom. Life is just so crazy with the kids and if I can make one part of my life a little more convenient I am doing it! You are cracking me up with the sex appeal girl. I totally get it.:)
    But you know what. We are hot, sexy moms cruisin around in a minivan filled with lots of kids!;)

  6. I guess I may be in the minority here, but I've never felt weird about a van. We didn't have Vanna White (our minivan, yes I name our vehicles) until the girls were seven and we had moved from OK and traveled a lot. When they were younger I LONGED for a van, but it just wasn't in the cards for us back then. I remember the girls being toddlers and drooling over vans on autotrader. Ha! Then it happened. The glorious day my vehicle dreams came true. We got a van! Sure the girls were older and I didn't need the automatic doors (Vanna isn't that fancy anyway. We're rocking the old school and open our own doors). But the girls were getting bigger and the four hour (one way) trips to OK in a small car or small SUV were getting too close for comfort. We needed room!!! I honestly don't see myself going back for a long time. And I say it, at least weekly, "I love my van". Three years later and I still love my van. Love it. So, katie, welcome to the wonderful, "I'm a van driving mom", part of motherhood. For what it matters, I think you're pretty cool for driving a mom. All the cool moms are doing it. ;)