I swore I'd never be the owner of a min-van. I have nothing against the mini-van. I just never saw myself in one. But then we had kids. And well, you know how it goes.
If you have kids, you just can't beat the utility of a van. I could stand up in the third row and buckle up the kiddos, while also reaching the DVD player with my right foot and opening the sliding door with my left. I could pack in $400 worth of groceries, my two kids, my niece and a partridge in a pear tree.
It was nothing short of amazing. Sure, I'd catch myself in the reflection and wonder who that kid was driving that Mom-mobile, but then I'd look in the rearview mirror and saw we had two kids plus a Christmas tree INSIDE the van and I'd get over it.
A few weeks ago, for reasons outside of our control, we made the decision to get a new car. We looked at every option with a third row -- mini-vans and SUVs. I kept going back and forth between loving the utility of the van and remembering my previous no-van self.
Scott and I settled on an SUV. Mostly because of the dollar and cents, but also because I wasn't sure I wanted to be rocking the van for the next decade.
I had an inkling there could be some trouble once we told the girls, so I waited until we were sure about the decision and then told them. Grace was pretty OK with the plan, but Claire was very upset. She immediately started crying about how much she loved the van and didn't want to sell it.
And when we got to the dealership to say goodbye to our trusty friend / clean out all the cheetos, I caught them hugging the van and telling it things like "we will miss you, van," "we will see you again soon" and "don't forget us."
The cleaning out process was therapeutic for us all. And a good reminder about the perils of letting a small child drink apple juice in your car.
We said our final goodbyes and drove off into the sunset in our apple-juice-free SUV.