When my husband and I first started getting serious and realized our lives were becoming intertwined, that we were working on a future, we had “The Talk.” We each had three deal-breakers that we made clear the other was never to push back about. One of my three deal-breakers was that I would never drive a minivan and would always have a sports car.
Okay, so maybe it’s not exactly a sports car, but my VW Jetta 1.8T GLS is the nicest car I’ve ever owned. It’s the first car I ever specifically picked, went out an bought, instead of just finding something I could afford and thought might not die on me too quickly. Heated leather seats, sunroof, kickin’ stereo with steering wheel volume and channel control – and turbo! It’s fast. Plus it’s easy to park – and parking is at a premium in the city, I can parallel park in the smallest of spots with this car.
I’m not bragging here, my car is a 2003. I’ve maintained it well and I just love it.
For all of the Baby Mum Mums the boys ground into the interior, the indelible impressions that the car seats have made in the leather, for the cupholder, which I’ve now got to replace a second time, because each of my children decided to tear the arms off of because they wanted to see how far they could flex. I still love this car.
Of course, I’m glad I had enough foresight to buy a four-door, because I couldn’t have handled a coupe with two car seats, but I can’t bring myself to replace this car. It’s my car from before kids. It’s fast and fun and fully loaded.
I also can’t bear the idea of unleashing my boys on a new car. I’ve moved past my shame of living out of my car some weeks, with not-quite-empty lunch bags, drink boxes, school work, bathing suits and an odd assortment of toys and wrappers scattered like mementoes of weeks gone by.
But my husband – he agreed to my sports car deal, he was happy to be the one to get the minivan.
He doesn’t see it as a loss of his before-child freedom, and he doesn’t see it as an admission that he’s been domesticated. He loves his minivan. He sees it as the best automotive choice anyone can make – it stores all of his gear, lets him cart around big numbers of people, and he can stretch out and have a nap. His only dissatisfaction is that he didn’t go for a model with stow-and-go seats.
The truth is, I do appreciate the minivan – for its functionality, of course. It is great at a drive-in movie. It’s perfect when each kid wants a friend over, or when we’re going out in big groups. It’s a dream for packing up and going camping and it comes in handy when I want to buy something oversized – hello IKEA!
But I’m still not giving up my sports car.