By Amanda Sorena
When I first found out we were having twins in addition to our 3-year-old daughter, I was greeted with many people saying, "Oh, minivan time for you!"
I revolted. I recoiled. I said, "No." I dug my heels in.
Instead, I got car seats that fit three across and will transition into high back boosters (I plan to keep them in five-point harnesses until they are 30). This plan has worked splendidly for three years, until I decided :gasp: I wanted a minivan. Here's why.
One word: Carpool
You know that saying, "It takes a village to raise a child." Well, it takes a minivan to drive children around that village. As the kids get older, I find myself in more and more situations where I need at least one more seat to take someone else's kid somewhere. This isn't just my altruistic nature, this is survival. If I pick up another kid from school, then they will return the favor another day. When I had I one tiny infant, I never dreamed how wonderful the day would be when you could have a drop off playdate. I will happily take two extra kids home if that means my three stay entertained all afternoon. It's a mom win-win. I know, I know. SUVs often have third rows, but I have yet to find one that is as easy to get into as a minivan.
You had me at automatic doors
Is that a button I can push to get the door open? A-MAZING. This is something I never knew I wanted, but now I can't imagine life without it. You try waiting at the dance class drop-off loop (that happens to be on an incline) and your six-year-old can't open the door and she's crawling over her sister and everyone is whining. You have to put the car in park and hop out to open the door for her, all while avoiding the glaring eyes of people behind you in their minivans wondering why you're parked and are out of the car in drop-off line. Never again.
Add this to the shades that pop up to block out sun, the DVD player and the little cooler in the front to keep water cold... these are features that mom dreams are made of. Trust me, I can't believe I care about these things either.
They can't touch each other (or me)
In our new configuration, we have kids in two captains chairs and one in the back. They can't touch each other. They also can't touch me. Enough said.
I didn't need my own identity, anyway
It's what is on the inside that counts, right? Pay no attention to the fact that our new blue minivan looks like 1,000 other blue minivans in the drop-off line at school. Maybe I can get a bumper sticker that says "I'm still cool." Oh, I can even Amazon Prime that to my doorstep! I still plan to play music really, really loud in my minivan. I realize this doesn't up the cool factor if I am blaring Kidz Bop. Clearly, I've surrendered.
Nostalgia a.k.a. memory making
As we were shopping around for cars, my dad chimed in "Look! A gold one!" No. Not gold like the "champagne" colored minivan of my youth with wood paneling. I cannot drive the same kind of gold minivan I learned to drive in. Then it struck me. We had three minivans that I can remember as a kid. My parents drove those suckers into the ground. I have so many memories of piling in the car with family and friends for road trips, camp trips and general running around town. I didn't care so much what my parents drove. I cared that we could be together and take friends and family wherever we wanted to go.
When I told my kids we were planning to get a car with more seats, my three-year-old daughter said, "For our friends?" Yes, for our friends. And for grandparents. And for us. There you have it. We are getting a minivan and I am actually excited about it. I am just as shocked as you are.
Photo courtesy of Amanda Sorena
This piece was originally published by Amanda Sorena on Mommy Nearest. Amanda Sorena is a freelancer writer and public relations specialist who lives in Houston with her husband and three children. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @KismetSorena.