I’ve finally got my dream car. It’s a sleek silver seven-seater. My husband is way too cool to drive it, but when I get in it I feel like the coolest, ever. I’ve called her Sylvia.
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of being a minivan mama.
First, there’s the fact that it’s the ideal mode of transportation for children. The seats are just at the right level so that my toddler can get in and I can buckle his seat belt while standing up straight. No longer do I have to lean in and over to wrestle with the buckling two-year-old while my rear end (“trailer” as my daddy would call it) is the only part of me out in the daylight. Try this in a skirt and you’ll go directly to your local minivan dealership. No longer do I have to try to figure a graceful way to back my behind out without hitting my head or falling, readjust the clothing, and look around hoping nobody was watching my show. Sylvia’s got my back (side) and has preserved my dignity many-a time. There’s a veritable playground in there, so I can open the back, toss in the toddler, and load groceries to my heart’s content knowing he’s safe and sound, out of the parking lot… and he thinks it’s the greatest since he got to climb in the back. There is room for several gadgets at once, so the two-year-old, ten-year-old, and teenager can all travel in harmony and comfort. Whether we’re going two blocks or a thousand miles, this does untold wonders for my sanity. Since my minivan is practically a living room in itself, I can climb in with the kids, close and lock the doors and take my time getting everything situated and ready to go.
Second, there’s the thrill of driving the minivan… alone. There are the compartments and pockets and cupholders, all with MY stuff tucked away just the way I want it. I get in, shut the door, start her up, and breathe in the cavernous space behind me. Space. My space. Quiet space. Maybe this isn’t a big deal to you, but I haven’t peed by myself on a regular basis in almost 15 years. I share a bedroom with a guy who likes everything just-so. I’ll often come home and my bedside table will be bereft of the books I’ve been reading or the earrings I stuck on the dresser top so I could grab ’em quick will be back in their hiding place… and he’s a chef so the kitchen isn’t exactly my domain either. But my van… (hear soft music) my van is my space. Drop the last kid off at school and honey, you’ve got a bubble bath on wheels all to yourself for ten whole minutes!! I’ve got napkins, snacks, a change of clothes (for a two-year-old, but still…), magazines, makeup, and a little money all right where I want and need them to be. I’m sorry, Sylvia’s not available for loanership. But I just may invite you in by calling you on my hands-free blue tooth system. Sylvia knows all my friends’ names and numbers and calls them on voice command. I’m not trying to show off, I’m only sharing my shock and awe that I actually figured out how to make her do it. Sylvia’s very discreet and won’t leak a word of our conversation.
Haven’t made a believer out of you yet? Well, don’t discount the minivan’s romance factor. Add a couple of pillows and the right beverages and “parking” takes on a whole new level of luxury. (Also disproves the misconception that married people with kids no longer have fun.) We can steam up windows with the best of ’em. (So what if we don’t leave the driveway?)
Sylvia holds my extra brochures and business cards and keeps the pee-pee accident kit discreetly hidden. Or she’ll proudly display the toys and dirt and roll up to the playground lookin’ like the mommy-mobile extraordinaire, with extra wet-wipes to loan to the mom with the Camry. She’ll seat a business executive and won’t (hopefully) leave an old french fry stuck to his pants. Or she’ll open her doors to six of my girlfriends and become the ride of our lives. Sylvia can serve a family dinner if need be, and even has a kid-watching mirror so I can glimpse mine enjoying ice cream or cheeseburgers or whatever we’ve found to get into.
Maybe it’s silly… but ol’ Sylvia makes me feel like I’m ready for whatever my wonderful life demands of me. I’m thinking about getting a theme song and some loudspeakers… maybe hydraulics….
Maybe not. But it’s still ON like pecan when Sylvia and I get on the road. Grab ya sunglasses and let’s go for a ride!!