Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Rocking Guns and Roses on the Dark Side
After Tex arrived, it quickly became very crowded in my car, a silver mommy-wagon from Subaru. With two car seats in the back, there was no more space to drop bags, toys or all the what-not that I tend tote with me. Once the "baby truck" (aka Graco Duo-Glider) was placed in the trunk, even groceries required stuffing and scrunching to get home. Peanut's papa was virtually claustrophobic jammed into the front seat.
So, he brought it up, "we need a minivan".
"No freakin' way", said I.
The reaction was first just pure emotion. NO, NO, NO. After mulling it over for several days, I came to understand why I was so opposed to minivans. They simply represent the antithesis of what I imagined my life to be. I was raised to believe anything boys can do, girls can do better. Through high school and college, that thought matured into professional ambitions and a life defined by what I did outside of the home.
A minivan. Well, that meant full-time mama, baby-totting, toddler-taming, strollers, diaper bags, visits to the zoo/park/Chuck E Cheese, a woman who has lost her independence and ability to support herself. Really, all those things I never wanted for myself. Until Peanut and Tex came along (except for the independence part which isn't true. Mamas know that child-rearing requires much more independent thought and decision making than most careers!).
I finally came to terms with the fact that what I drove did not change who I am or what I'm schlepping around town. Its our two wonderful babes and all the accouterments. It helped when Peanut's Papa framed it like this: being wise enough to choose the best tools for the job at hand is what makes anyone successful in whatever they do.
It took about two hours of life with the minivan to make me a true believer.
Where else can I get the doors that slide open as I'm coming across the parking lot, child seats at a level I can reach without straining, and space enough for our stroller collection AND grandparents/food/beach gear/etc. And, its actually very driveable - I much preferred it to a large truck or SUV. Today's minivans are loaded with all sorts of other goodies from DVD screens to special convex mirrors to better see what's happening in the backseats to third row seats that disappear making for a trunk you could literally sleep in.
The other night I was driving home from my pedicure, shining toenails pushing on my minivan accelerator. I was alone for once. I didn't have to listen to Raffi sing about wheels on a bus, monkeys on a bed or spiders on a water spout. I was having a great time with Axl, Slash and co. singing about Sweet Child O Mine right before grooving along with the Beastie Boys. In high school, these guys were part of our weekend party soundtrack. Now, they're part of my minivan crew -- next thing you know, we'll be sitting in our rocking chairs at the Ye Olde Folkes Home listening to a group of students perform Paradise City for us on Bingo Night.