Thursday, January 6, 2011

my road to adulthood is taken by minivan

I always thought that being a grown-up would have a certain "I'm an adult" feeling to it. I'm 28 and can honestly say I don't feel like a real adult. Getting married didn't make me feel like an adult. Neither the birth of my first nor second child gave me that sense of maturity. (I most definitely got a lot of mom-turity since momming up, but I'll save that for another blogging day). No, it came unexpectedly yesterday and instantly I knew true adulthood had arrived. I became an adult when we purchased a brand new minivan.
It all started less than 24 hours before. I returned home from a fabulous evening at Casa Mia with my book club pals to Rob greeting me with, "What do you think about trading the car in for a minivan?" No. My instant reaction was NO. Our car, a Chrysler Pacifica, worked just fine and ultra-fabulous Lilah would not be caught dead car-dancing at a stop-light in a minivan. No. No I didn't want a minivan, no I didn't want to go test drive one. Thank you, but no.
Captain responsibility had talked me into at least "taking a look" within 20 minutes. Rob is a creature of clear conscious, sensibility, and is as hard working as they come. What you see is what you get with my husband. It is no surprise to me that he has chosen a military career as a Naval Officer because his character reads straight from Uncle Sam's wish list of American values. His wife, on the other hand, is one hot mess. Many times, OK, all the time he is the voice of reason when it comes to decision making. So it was no surprise that once he started talking-up van ownership, I was going to fold faster than an amateur poker player. Little did I know that less than 24 hours after that conversation my new minivan would be sitting in the carport.
Yesterday he planned on playing racquetball with his commander and then afterwards pick up Grace from preschool to return home right before nap time. I asked how racquetball was and he informed me due to his partner bailing on him, he had spent the morning at the dealership and was "knee deep" in buying us a minivan. All I had to do was just test drive it. We didn't have to buy it if I didn't want to...blah, blah, blah. My sweet beloved was playing me like a cheap fiddle and smiling the whole time.
I sheepishly walked into the dealership and found the dealer Rob informed me about. After polite introductions and strong handshake, I uttered like a sullen teenager, "I'm here to drive a minivan." He showed me the van, and I tried not to gasp in shock as he opened the sliding door. The entire interior was the color of a soft cream suede. Because part of the seats WERE SOFT CREAM SUEDE! What the hell was my husband thinking?! The demographic we belong to is sponsored by Gymboree, not AARP. What Rob saw was luxury and what I saw was a vehicle not child friendly. I obliged and test drove the orthopedic dreamship. My posture was ramrod straight and every bit of me was convinced that this whole minivan buying scheme had been the wrong idea from the start.
The dealer being the dealer showed me a second vehicle. Same exact model, just one level down in accessories package. I tore through it inside and out looking for the deal breaker, the negative aspect that would be the kiss of death to this vehicle purchase. It wasn't there. What was there was remote dual sliding doors, 3 DVD players, leather interior (black, not tan), power EVERYTHING, and the pair of aces in Rob's hand, space and convenience. I was done before I had even driven it, but once I did drive it I inwardly admitted defeat. Trying to reveal nothing, I thanked the dealer for his time and informed him Rob would be in contact with him if we were interested after a spousal pow-wow.
Driving home I felt excited and defeated at the same time. Had I really given in? Was this the end of cool as I knew it? I was conflicted and Rob could see that when I told him to go buy us that minivan. The smart and sensible part of me agreed, this was the vehicle for me. A small bit of me still lingered in remorse. Then Grace woke up and I went to her room to get her. She lovingly exclaimed, "Mommy," and that's when it clicked. Enter adulthood, stage right. A minivan was about suiting my needs and my family's needs. Seeing that adorable little face made me realize I wasn't doing this for just me, I was doing this for her and her brother too. And all their soccer gear, and pals, and juice boxes, and any other duties called upon this super-mom. No hero can do their job without the proper equipment.
Buying this van has made me feel more like a real mom than ever. My friend Peggy told me I would never look back. She's right, I haven't (I also haven't needed to with the reverse rear camera!). It is my first new vehicle and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT. I did a happy dance when Rob pulled in the driveway. I opened the door to the carport to wish it goodnight before going to bed last night. This morning I padded through the house like a kid on Christmas morning just to peek and make sure it was still there. This analogy is very fitting considering I skittered right past our Christmas tree, which is still up.
This vehicle is so right in all the right ways. I can only imagine how excited that first mom was who drove the first minivan. She probably thought, "Finally." The minivan was created for mom, and mom is who I am. A super fabulous cool mom. Give me good beat and I will still be car-dancing at the stop-lights. I'm more mature now in adulthood and realize image is nothing and convenience is everything.


  1. Well congratulations to your new family addition. It is really a great one and I wish you all the best. It is good that you are keeping it under a carport, because it is protected from heat.