Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Post MiniVan Depression...

I have a confession to make. I have post-minivan depression. Don't get me wrong- I love the minivan, with it's heated seats, DVD player & seating for 7 people. In fact, usually I wish I had enough kids to drive one of those 15 passenger vans. In general, vans are great.


It all started on Cinco de Mayo. I was able to go out WITHOUT all of the kids. I didn't take the minivan. I rode with a friend. I gotta be honest, it felt pretty amazing pulling up to the restaurant in a real
car. In fact, the coolness was so overpowering that it had several side effects. There was a little more
swagger in my step. I spoke to the grownups in the restaurant instead of playing with their kids. I even lost
the scrunchie. It was a fine night indeed!

Then came Tuesday. Since my transimission has been acting up again, I indulged in the guilty pleasure of
looking up rental cars online. The thrill could only compare to being on one of those dating sites for the
first time- where you get to shallowly judge a person solely based on a single photo. I knew most of those cars weren't right for me (and my 5 person family), but they just looked so darn good! The longer I lusted over those sleek, sexy cars- the more distant I felt from the minivan. Eventually though, I just decided to go with whatever cheap car they put me in.

In the heat of my disdain for the minivan, I was all too happy to drop it off at the transmission shop. I didn't
even look back as I got in the car with the Hertz man. When we arrived at the car rental center, there was an air of excitement. Like a blind date!

Then it happened- my Jeep pulled up. It wasn't a van. It wasn't family friendly. It was breathtaking. The
seats were cloth, the radio was loud, and the windows rolled down all the way! As we pulled off the lot, it all came back to me. The way I used to be. Before I was a housewife. Before I was a homeschooling mother of 3. Even before I was the fat sister.... I felt so young! So alive!

To tell the truth- I had almost forgotten. There used to be more. I used to wear cute little sundresses (and
fit in them!), I used to hang out with friends at somewhere other than Cici's pizza. I used to buy panties with
ruffles...Yes, I love being the housewife/homeschooling mother of 3. (I'd adopt 10 more kids if I could.) But
is that all I am? I've struggled with it off & on. More off than on lately. I've come to accept that I am almost 30. I now quickly realize that when the church says 'teen/young adult activity' that I'm not invited. I don't even swoon over college football players anymore- because I realize that I'm WAY too old for them. But I still feel like I forfeited a small part of my youth and femininity when I committed to the minivan. A part of me that I was actually quite fond of. A part of me that I have started to remember piece by piece since sitting in the driver seat of my little silver Jeep. In fact, I've been to Goodwill twice- and bought 6 cute little dresses! (Not quite as cute as they'd have been 20 lbs ago- but the important part is that I feel cute.) I've worn makeup more often, scrunchie less, and have shaved consistently. I'm even planning on taking my little jeep on an adult only roadtrip for a day.

Seems strange to say that Cinco de Mayo and a Jeep could be so revitalizing. But it's true.

Life won't always be this thrilling. Soon I'll be back in the gold minivan. But look closely- the real me will
still be there somewhere. Behind the automatic sliding doors & the windows that pop out instead of roll down. Beyond the blaring Disney Channel CD and the laughing kids. Somewhere amidst the ample seating. I'll still be there.


  1. Oh my word. This post is hilarious!!! The funniest things are true... I don't even have a mini van, but I have those "where did I go in the mommy-ness" moments where I suddenly tried to take care of the buried deep down me a little better. Great job on this!!!

  2. This post made me LOL. I love it. I think a family of 5 will fit nicely in a jeep! :) And I disagree with the fat are a sexy mama! Every pic of you I see you are wearing cute dresses. To me, you are the same as always, you just have 3 more with ya!

  3. Hilarious!

    After 28 years of being a stay-at-home homeschooling Mama (now with a dozen children), I am beginning to see a tiny view beyond the horizon of all-day-every-day-mommying.

    I drove one of those BIG beautiful 15 passenger vans . . . for 22 years.

    I have taught my children at home for 22 years . . . and still have 8 years to go with the youngest.

    But, we "downsized" out of our BIG van last year . . . after we had 4 kids get married in 14 months. Now, we drive an almost-as-big Excursion, but I LOVE the heated leather seats, built-in dvd player, and every other bell and whistle that my big vans never had. :)

    I have recently lost 25 pounds (with a lot left to lose) . . . and am seeing visions of cute little sundresses in my future.

    My advice to you . . . treasure this time with your children at home . . . pour your life into being a wife and mommy . . . don't worry about the mini-van or the few extra pounds. After the kids are grown and gone, you will have a lot of years left for driving jeeps, going out with the girls, and wearing all of the cute little dresses that will fit in your closet. Today . . . just enjoy the life that the Lord has blessed you with.

    mama of 12 (ages 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 19, 21, 23, 23, 25, 26 28)