Don’t Tell Her She’s Just a Van

Did you ever dream about the “perfect car”? A car that makes your heart skip a beat when you see it or think about driving in it. The one you may have even added to your vision board if you make one (which I highly recommend). I have a dream car in my mind and on my vision board. I would love to own a Mercedes. A four-door, sleek, matte-colored, leather interior, with all the bells and whistles possible. I have always wanted a Mercedes. The actual style and color have changed but the desire has remained. 

When I was pregnant with Justin, we bought our first minivan. It was a 1998 forest green Ford Windstar. I did not love that car but I did love the color at the time. (Don’t judge, it was a popular color back in the day.) There are two things I remember about that car:

  1. The hubcaps (or center caps) fell off that car often. I remember a police officer pulling me over to return a hubcap that fell off when I made a right turn.
  2. I was thrilled to replace it with an SUV after 9 years of driving a minivan.

I swore I would never own a minivan again. I never wanted to be in the minivan club and I was thrilled to escape it. Have you ever heard the phrase, “We make our plans and we hear God laughing”? God had other plans for me.  

The reality is I am the primary caregiver to my daughter and she depends on me to drive her everywhere. It is not easy to get Emily in and out of vehicles. She is almost as tall as I am and she does not assist in the process. It is like loading and unloading a 100# bag of cement each time. The bag of cement must conform to the seat and wear a seatbelt too.

When it was time for me to get a new vehicle a few years ago, Todd begged me not to get a minivan. He knew it was not a car I wanted to drive. I thought it was sweet of him to plead on behalf of my dreams. I told him I was getting a minivan with a lift chair because it was the best decision for my health and Emily. It is not just about my dreams but I need to be practical. Emily is not getting any smaller and I am not getting any younger.

When I am driving my van, I love it. She has all the bells and whistles. It is the first car I have owned with a backup camera and “dummy lights” so I don’t go into a lane with a car already there. It has a great stereo for me to listen to SiriusXM or the latest episode of a favorite podcast. When she is zipping along the highway or making U-turns on a dime, I forget she is a van.

A fellow coach and I were discussing our rides. She drives a Jeep and I have a Toyota Sienna. She said her Jeep reminds her of a Transformer on the outside and my minivan is a Transformer on the inside. I agree. When I am driving my minivan (that has the chassis of a Tacoma), I am driving a car with power and muscle. She has pep in her step. She is equipped with the features of a luxury vehicle. She provides comfort, convenience, and dependability. I describe my van as “my midlife Mercedes”. She has heard me say this enough that she believes it. (The power of thought work.) My van thinks she is my Mercedes and I love that about her. She has never let me down and she reminds me it is what is on the inside that matters most.

PS: Just in case you ever get a chance to meet her, please don’t tell her she is just a van. She believes she is so much more.

Published by bshort1968

I am a self-described caregiver. I love to help and care for others. I have learned the value of caring for myself as well. Now I want to live my life helping others learn to care for others and take care of themselves as well.

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