Sunday, January 07, 2007

Mini Van Mama

I'm the hip chick that said, "I would NEVER drive one of those goofy looking mini vans. Those are for desperate housewives toting around snot-nosed brats." Keep in mind, that was me in my mid-twenties -- single and loving it. Not a care in the world. No intention of getting married much less having kids. My most important decisions those days were which bar would I visit that night and what would I wear. Or what would be my big splurge of the month - new kick-ass shoes or a mini vacation? I was nearly hitting a six-digit income and spending every penny frivolously on myself.

Fast forward to present day. Married, two kids, two car garage, house in the burbs. Getting dangerously close to turning 40. Temporarily (hopefully) hung up my power business suits. And just had baby #2. Whoa! Who is this chick? Did my mother take over my body?

To top it all off -- I just bought a mini van. Yep, you read it right. I, the mini-van-hating-mini-skirt-wearing-mama opted for a mini van. And I LOVE IT. It holds anything and everything, including my two fabulous children, their toys, jogging stroller, snacks, books...everything. We can even transport adults AND kids at the same time!

Now, buying a mini van did not happen without some self-inflicted blows to my ego. As soon as I drove the house-on-wheels off the lot I aged 20 years. Seriously, I looked in the rearview mirror and saw a billion wrinkles on my previously somewhat smooth face. And a gray hair was waving at me too (one of many)! The next day I went on a teen-inspired t-shirt shopping spree. I bought a few concert shirts, skull-and-crossbone shirts, cool headbands, and a box of haircolor. I even ordered a microdermabrasion kit from a Susan Lucci (All My Children) infomercial. My thought process was this...if I had to get out of a mini van dragging two kids behind me, at least I could look somewhat cool doing it (or look like a young mom). A friend even sent my 2-year old daughter a couple of concert shirts so we could look hip together!

Why do I care? I really don't. I mean, I'm trying not to dwell on aging and fret about every tiny detail (sagging skin, weakening bones, dwindling energy, varicose veins). But we all want to age gracefully in the back of our minds - admit it. But most of all I think I just want to be a somewhat "hip mom" to my daughter's friends. Someone they feel comfortable coming to when they need advice. Someone they WANT to spend time with and don't feel embarrassed to be around. Someone to coach their soccer teams and drive them to state championships. Their dance partner in the living room! Someone to share their dreams and secrets.

I consider buying the mini van "taking one for the team!"
And, NO, it isn't one with DVD players and auto everything. I tried very hard to control myself!

By the way, my dear husband gave up his speedy Volkswagen Jetta to gift me with the van. Now THAT is what I call love.