Monday, March 12, 2012

A Mommy Van? Oh No!

I’m not driving a Mommy Van.

It’s 1999. I’m pregnant with my third daughter, comfortably driving to and fro with my 3 year old and 1 year old strapped in their 5-point harness car seats in the rear of my 1988 Volvo 240 GL. It’s a spacious enough family car, yet cozy enough for me to reach back to my girls without much effort. However, long distance traveling with Darling Husband, our luggage, and baby paraphernalia is more challenging. Packing the trunk requires a mathematical equation.

It occurs to us that another car seat and more baby stuff is going to put us on overload. It’s time to get a larger vehicle.

I’ve had my sophisticated Volvo since my single, career days. Now, I’m waddling around with an extra 20 pounds on me (and growing), and I still feel more like a Volvo than a minivan. That’s for those child-centered, soccer moms. I just can’t go there.

Sooo, instead, I say to Darling Husband, “I’d like one of those SUVs. I’ve been looking at them for awhile and the Ford Expedition is what I want. It’s big and powerful… nothing wimpy about it.” A few trips to the dealer to test drive it, and the day before my Y2K baby is born, it’s parked in my garage.

It’s 2008; summertime. I’m spending the day at a water park with a girlfriend, my daughters and her daughter; 6 of us. The Expedition is getting some TLC at the dealership, but because we planned in advance, our loaner is a van.

As I step out of my garage to see it on the driveway where Darling Husband parked it, I feel a little geeky. It’s not the latest model and a bit unattractive… but, who cares; it’s transportation.

I unlock the doors, put in our cooler and sacks, tell the kids to get in, step inside, and suddenly a transformation occurs. I realize how comfortable I am getting in. I don't have to hold on to a ceiling handle to pull myself into it like I do to get in the Expedition.


I feel lower, too, but not as low as being in a car.


There’s a space between the two middle row seats (later I learn that these are Captain’s Chairs). The cooler fits there nicely. The kids can reach in when they want something.


We pick up T. and her daughter. Everyone has leg room.


This is not bad! It’s actually kind of nice. But I like my Expedition. It’s serving us well AND, it’s paid for.

It’s May, 2011. I knew the day would come when we’d have to say goodbye to the Expedition, although I thought it would be much later, like when it was about 18 years old instead of 11. Anyway, Girl #3 and I are walking toward it at the horse farm where we take lessons, when gusty winds uproot a top-heavy tree that comes crashing down upon it. We are 40 feet away, as we watch in horror and amazement.

My first thought is, “My car just got totaled.” My daughter’s hysterical reaction is, “MOMMY, HOW ARE WE GOING TO GET HOME!?!”

It’s quite an ordeal for us and the five other people there. An electric line is down near the pig pen. The houses across the street have lost power. My cell phone is in the car (truck), and so are my reading glasses. I’m borrowing a phone, but need help dialing because I can’t see the numbers. Another parent is trying to get the electric company or the fire station… and so on.

This will be a memorable day.

The dust has settled. It has taken me almost 9 months to decide on my new vehicle, and yes, it’s a mommy van. But… times have changed. It has more of a Crossover look, with elements of a hearse thrown in. I like it.

Count your blessings.

Given a choice of vehicle, what would you choose?

The first image is from It looks more like an SUV, but it was too funny to pass.


Judy Thomas said...

As you can guess, the most fuel-efficient car available. The smallest we could use too.

Tabor said...

Wow, someone was on your side that day. Do you wonder what might have happened ever?

Abby said...

Omigosh!! I think fate was telling you that your Expedition days were over.

As much as I bash minivans these days, I admit that I did once drive one. It was a dog, but we were the owners. My vehicle of choice is a bicycle, but for road trips around family constraints, we have a full-sized V8 Big Butt van which is great!

Tammy@Beatrice Banks said...

So sorry to see that happened to your vehicle! But thank the Lord you escaped harm yourself!
I have no idea what kind of car I'd want. I'm still driving a Sequoia. We talk about getting a smaller car to save on gas but ours is paid for so it really wouldn't be a savings. I do like the new vans. Glad you are happy with yours!

a2zbaby said...

I always like baby post here you can buy diapers for babies

Linda Hensley said...

So sorry about your vehicle, but now you have a really good story! With evidence :)

SuziCate said...

Wow, thank God you guys were not in it when it happened. I've had the car, the small suv, and a van. Each served its purpose at the time. Now I have a Subaru Outback which is a cross between a small suv and a station wagon...and again serves my purpose.Now that my children are grown I don't feel I need a mini van anymore and with a large dog and hiking trips the suv suits me more. I hope your love your new wheels!

Nezzy (Cow Patty Surprise) said...

Oh my goodness glory, I'm just happy nobody was hurt!

Right now I'm not sure...I really need something bigger than our car havin' so many grandkiddos and all but with just Farm Boy and I it seems a little silly.

I kinda like the Chrysler 300's but there's no way to cram 8 grands in. Heeehehehe!

God bless and have yourself a magnificent day sweetie!!! :o)

Hilary said...

That had to be a very shocking (pun really not intended considering that wire) day. I'm so glad you and yours were not in or to close to your vehicle. That would have been unimaginable.

Anya said...

Oh glad everyone was ok! That was quite an unexpected story under the "mommy van" title! :)

I'm still driving my Honda Accord...but being that I'm a mama myself now, I know my minivan days are coming! :) What van did you buy?

Still love seeing your posts! Big hellos to the girls!

Rebecca S. said...

Yes. I remember when I was pregnant with my 4th child and we had to trade in our cool, sporty Subaru wagon for a minivan. But I grew to love that minivan - we could spread out in it! We could never do that in our previous cars once we had more than two kids. Then we bought a nicer van when that one died. It's more like a car than a truck and fun to drive. My next car though? A 1970's Jaguar in racing green. (ha)

I'm sure glad no one was in the Expedition when the tree came down!

Sr Crystal Mary said...

I thank God that I no longer have to cater for young children. My car is a tiny one. It is economical on fuel and parks easily...I usually only have one of my two smallest grandchildren at a time. They then sit in the back seat.

Rob-bear said...

Truthfully, I'd get another Volvo. We have had about five of them. Only the first was purchased new. We gave to a friend of our daughter, when it was past 22.. The last time I checked, it was still on the road, 25 years old, and still looking good. The rest we got used. The current one is from 1998, and it's doing just fine.

Stephanie said...

I drive a huge SUV and adore it, BUT I have to admit I loved every second of driving the Chevy Traverse crossover. Just as you said, everything was just so comfy and easy:)

Unknown said...

That is a miracle that you all weren't in the car at the time. I was like that with my Lexus. I thought it was the perfect fit for me, until I moved to Oregon. I found that I didn't feel comfortable in the Pacific Northwest unless I was driving a gas saver and one that didn't have to be kept clean all the time. The perfect solution is my Honda Hybrid.

People Who Know Me Would Say: said...

This was a cool, post, Anita!

We drive SUVs because we need to be higher than cars will seat us (bad back and bad knees). But we don't drive very much. My car is 5 years old and just hit 10,000 miles. Stu maybe drives that in a year.

Vans got a bad rap because the image associated with them was soccer mom. How is that a bad thing? There's a reason Dodge Caravan was such a HUGE seller for so long.

Tracey said...

Me oh my!!!! So glad you are safe.

Last year we bought a reliable, well maintained, previously owned mini-van. I love it. I don't care that it is boring and ugly and identical to 10,000 other vans exactly like it in my suburb. I. Love. it.

Though, I should add that I have three small children with whom my husband and I travel 1000 miles to his parents' house every summer, which makes the beauty (or lack there of) of the thing, truly only skin deep.

I also have low standards. I have never had a sexy car. My first car was a Pinto. Stop laughing. And, to get the van, we had to trade in a tan with peach interior Saturn station wagon I inherited from my grandmother.

So, for me, cruising around in my 2004 Honda Odyssey is like living the dream, baby.

Buckeroomama said...

We have only 2 kids, but I love my mommy van. I love the space and I love that we have room for my parents / in-laws when they visit.

Anonymous said...

I am a daddy, but when our family was big enough, our mommy van, especially when on vacation, was awesome.


Erwin Calverley said...

LOL at the hearse element. Hehe. You got quite a lot of good cars, and each represents a certain period in your mommy-hood. Well, I'd prefer something like the Toyota Sequoia for a family car (let's not call it a Mommy van, ha!). Well, I guess you have found your ride by now. What did you get? =)

-Erwin Calverley

Anita said...

There's no email address attached to your profile, Erwin, for me to respond; but I'll just say here that the new van is a 2012 model. You can probably guess what it is since you're in the car business.

Thanks for the visit. :)