If you bring home a minivan and there's no one there to laugh at you, is it still 'uncool'?
Why? Because on Sunday, when I pulled my new minivan into the driveway, my entire family was there, smartphones in hand, snapping pictures and laughing.
Before I got out of the driver's seat, I pushed the button that automatically opens the sliding door and made a 'check this shit out' face.
I then got out, ran to Roxy's arms and said, "hold me."
"Ahhh," she said as she comforted me, laughing, "my poor baby got a minivan."
I'm sure if I wouldn't have made such a big deal out of it, they wouldn't have laughed so hard (except my sister. She was going to laugh no matter what) but, the truth is, I spent the days leading up to the purchase cracking countless jokes and poking fun at myself. I think it was just me preparing myself for what was coming.
And I totally deserved what was coming.
I was one of THOSE people. The ones who said they'd never own a minivan. The ones who said they'd die before driving one. The ones who bought into the idea that a minivan was the death of all things cool and young and carefree. If you don't believe me, ask any one of my girlfriends who are lined up around the block to remind me of my words.
But, then this happened.
We added a third, beautiful, perfect child to our family and also to the backseat of my 2010 Ford Fusion.
Sure, they look happy. They look secure. They also look jam packed and piled on top of each other. And you know where the stroller is? It's still in the garage because I couldn't, for the life of me, get it to fit in the trunk.
This was my first outing with all three in the car and also the day I called Jeremy, sweaty and out of breath from loading and buckling and declared, "We HAVE to get a minivan!"
But, for some reason, even knowing that it was going to make my life easier, I still had a hard time coming to grips with the idea.
And I'm not quite sure why.
Didn't 'cool' go out the window when I started wearing yoga pants EVERYWHERE I went? Didn't 'young' peace out right about the time the gray hair snuck in? Wasn't 'carefree' already a long gone concept that existed only in my photo albums and memories of spur of the moment road trips with Jeremy and nights spent drinking too much, knowing that morning would be a time to sleep in late and recover instead of make pancakes and hurry to t-ball games and pediatrician's appointments?
A minivan wasn't going to change the fact that I was now a mother of three, overextended, exhausted, wearing yesterday's yoga pants and in desperate need of cargo room and automatic sliding doors.
And still I cried.
Sitting in the garage with my husband before we left for the dealership, I cried.
Through the tears I admitted I was being ridiculous. I was fully aware that the tears were part exhaustion and part ego. I knew the comments and jokes and laughter I was going to get from my coworkers and non-minivan driving friends were not intended to hurt my feelings.
Minivans are funny. They're a punch line to a never ending stream of jokes. An accessory to the idea that motherhood is unattractive and lame. Minivans represent an idea in our society that when you have enough children to warrant driving one, you have lost your 'cool.' That you have lost your 'hot.'
Being a Hot Mom means being respected as a mom and a woman. And, the key to being a Hot Mom is having a sense of humor about yourself and all the crazy situations that arise.
On the way to the dealership, I decided to take a breath. I prayed for forgiveness for my bratty attitude. I prayed for the removal of my ego. I thanked my God for the ability to afford a minivan. For the family of five that would fill it up. For the convenience it would provide and the adventures it would take us on.
I was suddenly better.
When I pulled into the driveway on Sunday afternoon, there were people laughing at me. My family was there with camera phones and jokes. And I laughed with them. My dad stood proud and amazed that both doors slid open automatically. And I was proud with him. Roxy commented how pretty the color was. And I agreed.
And two little boys came running out, climbed inside and yelled, "We LOVE it!"
I love it, too.
If there wasn't anyone to tell me a minivan was uncool, I'd probably never know. It's comfortable as all get out, has air conditioning vents in, like, five places, my kids don't touch and there's so. much. space.
Hi, my name is Krysten, and I drive a minivan.
And if that makes me uncool, I'm totally, totally okay with that.
Happy Wednesday, friends.
go. do. be.