My Minivan – Ride Until She Dies

My Minivan – Ride Until She Dies

The first day of school is just around the corner.  School supplies, uniforms, meeting new teachers. My calender is buzzing with back to school preperations.  Then it hit me…car line.  The van….it has to be cleaned or I’m dropping them off a block away from school.

Oh, I’ve seen my competition.  Tiny little hybrid car, 80 pound dog sitting poised in the front seat (looking like Dino), and her child in the back.  The teacher opens the door and nothing comes out except a child.  Lassie just sits and watches calmly, as if to say “bye Timmy, see you this afternoon”.

Then, there’s the other minivan mom.  The plastic sleeve is still over the rear wiper from the last car wash.  Family stick figures of mom, dad, 6 kids, 3 dogs, 2 cats, and partridge in a pear tree are gleaming right next to the 13.1 decal.  The teacher opens the door and the aroma of earthy essential oils exits the van along with a child or two or three.

Then, I roll up to car line in “Vanessa”, our ten year old Honda minivan.  She’s metallic gray in color, with 15″ rims, and a (still dependable) V6 engine.  We’re talking 6-disc changer, sunroof, power doors, and daytime running lamps people!  Ok, so she doesn’t have bluetooth, she was still the shiznit back in 2008.  As the car line progresses, I am glancing at the floorboard to make sure a sippy cup isn’t going to fall out when the sliding door is opened.  The door pockets are full of things that come into the van, but never make it back out until the next purge.  There are seat pockets full books, dvds, and whatever else they can fit.  The floor is littered with random legos, small toys, and food scraps such as french fries or cheerios (aka roadkill).  I mean, its safe to assume I would get better gas mileage if she were cleaned out.

No matter what she looks like on the inside, I’m keeping Vanessa until she dies. Here’s why:

  1. She’s paid for.  I worked hard to get to that last payment, so I want to enjoy not having a car note for as long as possible.
  2. The kids have marked their territory in there.  Each one of them has basically “grown up” being shuttled around in this van.  There are stories, like the time the crayons melted and left a colorful reminder in the carpet. There is mystery, such as when you remove a car seat for a cleaning and get a glimpse of the lost items and roadkill festering under it.  Or, how about the tear in the leather on the right side of my driver’s seat – the only area torn in the entire van – where my arm has reached back to the kids for years. Vanessa is comfortable.  She’s broken in, and I don’t go crazy if something is accidentally spilled or worry about muddy shoes.
  3. If I were ever trapped in the van during a snowstorm, I’m fairly certain I could survive several days off the roadkill found throughout the van.  There’s even a potty seat and toilet paper in the trunk (It was put there out of necessity, and turned out to be very handy to have.). I would have no problem finding a blanket and a few half empty bottles of water. Truth be told, I could also find a 27 ponytail holders, an tube of mascara, and a CVS receipt that is as long as my small intestine.
  4. My kids don’t know that she’s old yet. Not that it would cause me to buy a new one, I’m just saying. They haven’t figured out that not having Bluetooth is an inconvenience. Nobody is complaining, so let’s leave well enough alone.

So for now, I’m passing on the glamour and high price tag for a cool mom mobile. I will stand by old faithful, Vanessa, until she’s done. So when I roll up in car line, judge all you want. We’ve got memories in here…and some trash that needs to be emptied. ✌️

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