My mom had one of the first versions of the minivan in the early '90s and I had to drive it to work at Ruby Tuesday on occasion. One fine summer evening I was driving my 17-year-old self home in the van with the windows rolled down and the warm wind blowing. I felt young and free and like I was capable of anything. Then I remembered I was driving a minivan and that it is simply not possible to look cool in a minivan. Even at 17.
So I am traumatized. Our 4Runner proved once and for all that it is possessed on Christmas Eve when it began locking and unlocking its doors on its own. It made me think of that movie Christine where the car starts killing people. Anyway, we determined that the only vehicle we owned capable of carrying our relatively-soon-to-be family of five could not be trusted.
Thus, the need for a new car. We got rid of the 4Runner and got a Honda Odyssey. It is really roomy and has all sorts of crazy places to put cups. I have equipped it with paper towels, tissues, hand sanitizer, diapers, large trash bags (lesson learned from the barfing incident of Christmas Eve '08), and a make-shift trash can. None of this is visible to the passengers. All of it makes me feel older and older by the minute.
I have already hit the garage door with it and Jay has already scrubbed the paint off the fender. I have already been waved at by perky teenage students riding in their moms' minivans while driving to work in it. I have already had cheerios spilled in the floorboard.
One of my students told me I was too young to have a minivan. She is now my favorite student.
I have embraced my mom-hood on a new level. I'm already thinking about how nice it will be on family road trips. So I humbly take it back. I own a minivan. And I'm really glad that I do.