Since finding out we are expecting a third child, and knowing we will have three kids under the age of 5, my husband and I have had many conversations about what vehicle would be most suitable for our family.
I have always been an SUV kind of girl. Between Jeep Cherokees, GMC Trailblazers, Nissan Muranos, and, most recently, a Nissan Pathfinder, I like the sporty, “cooler” vehicle look. Even beginning at 16 years old when I first got my driver’s license, I aspired to look “cool,” and begged for a Jeep Cherokee Sport, and drove one.
Let’s put it this way: A minivan has NEVER been an option or consideration…until recently. We have many friends who drive them, we see them all over Reisterstown Road, and packed in our preschool parking lot at Beth Tfiloh School.
But, let’s be honest, they just aren’t for me. Minivans are not “cool” enough. They scream mom, old lady, lack of style, kids, and are the furthest thing from fun and trendy.
However, the topic of possibly getting one has continued to come up over the last several months. “Oh, but they are so practical,” one friend said. “And they make life much easier with little kids,” another suggested. But, my husband and I haven’t been able to pull the trigger.
Until a very close friend said something to us that stuck.
“Erin, I hate to be the one to break it to you, but you are no longer ‘cool.’ You are 32 years old now with a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old. You are dodging tantrums, carrying around a diaper bag with crumbs all over your shirt, and still wiping two asses. If you think for one second that a car is going to help your ‘cool’ factor, you are wrong. And, you need to wake the hell up if you think differently.”
She proceeded to add that my life at this point is very challenging, as I tote two little kids around town who are still completely dependent on my assistance and help. So, if there is something that exists out there that may make life a little easier, then why wouldn’t I grab onto it, and do so quickly. She elaborated. “Automatic doors, movie screen, space, and 20 cup holders to hold their bottles, sippy cups, and juice boxes.”
Since this conversation, I’ve been thinking, and thinking hard. She was right. I’m not “cool” anymore, and, truthfully, who am I trying to be “cool” for? I have a loving and wonderful husband, crazy and adorable children, and very special friends (who actually enjoy my company regardless of the car I drive).
The reality is, in life, we are all striving to appear a certain way. We want to be perceived as popular and desirable. Nobody wants to be uncool. And that is exactly how I initially developed an eating disorder in college. I wanted to look thin, skinny, and sexy. I wanted to be “cool” and socially accepted. And, in our society, our body type seems to be a large factor in beauty and appeal.
Now, at 32 years old, I am taking a huge plunge that I never envisioned taking in my life. Today, my husband and I purchased a minivan. It is practical, affordable, and most fitting for my family at this point in our lives. This is something I wish I had the courage and confidence to do in my teenage years: to act and do without considering what others may think or say. I can look at every person driving a minivan, and can guarantee they didn’t look in the mirror and say, “I would love to drive a minivan. It is my dream car.” But, they have it for a reason. And, I have the utmost respect and admiration for those people because of their ability to put their egos aside and buy something they may never have foreseen.
It’s been quite a journey, I must say. I am blessed to have a family who has taught me not to value the word “cool.” Because at the end of the day, there is nothing cooler than having an awesome husband and beautiful children. I am blessed to have them and now drive a minivan. I can’t think of anything better!