Yesterday morning I woke up to my twin girls asking me if we could go get smoothies and bagels for breakfast. It was 6:30 a.m. Even though I was freezing and groggy I said yes. It’s one less meal I have to cook and clean up, and I was in the mood for a bagel. So I threw on some sweats and off we went.
As we were heading back to the car with our breakfast, I noticed I had left the side sliding door of minivan open. It’s the third time I’ve done that in the four years we’ve had the car. I was parked in front of a fancy gym and there was a man getting into his fancy car next to me with his newspaper and his gym bag. I could tell exactly what he was thinking as he waited for me to pile my kids into the van so he could have better access to his car. “Another distracted mom with a gaggle of kids and a minivan.”
I get these looks often when I am out and about in my minivan.
People make all kinds of assumptions because I drive a minivan, am followed by three little children and am usually wearing sweats. Other non-minivan driving moms are sometimes the worst. It doesn’t bother me. I am not defined by my car. Would I like to drive something else? Sure. Maybe in a couple of years, or when my son outgrows his five-point harness carseat we’ll be ready for something different. But right now, it works for us.
I can push a button and the side doors slide open, the kids climb in unassisted and the older two buckle themselves. When I’m in the car line at school, I can open the door from the driver’s seat and don’t have to worry about anyone smashing their little fingers shutting the door themselves. On a recent trip to the snow we fit all three kids, me, my husband, Grandma and all our gear in the van with no problem. I don’t have to perform yoga moves to get all the kids strapped in when we have a play date. The girls can easily change into their ballet clothes in the back seat. If we want to go somewhere for a bike ride, we can fit all three kids and their bikes in the van with room to spare. I even carry a potty that can be used rather discreetly in my minivan.
So go ahead and roll your eyes at me when I’m driving too slow or have to pull over to hand someone their snack. What you don’t see is that we listen to everything from Chris Brown to Miley Cyrus to NPR in our van. I read books while I’m waiting for my kids. I have interesting conversations with interesting people (some of whom drive minivans). Being a mom is the largest piece of who I am right now, but it’s not the only piece. I’m proud of the young people I am creating. And I am not embarrassed by our transportation that screams MOM.
Until my minivan days are over, I’ll just put on a T-shirt that says “I’m too sexy for my minivan” (http://www.darlingmummy.com/order—mv—ss.htm) and hold my head high.
This is an original post from the Silicon Valley Moms Blog, http://www.svmoms.com. When not spending what feels like her entire day in her minivan, Kirsten also writes at The Norwindians (http://www.thenorwindians.blogspot.com/).