Page 16 - 2017 Autumn-Winter Issue
P. 16

© SNEHIT /                               Minivan Moments

                                                         by Peggi Johnson

                                                         When my children were born, I was in my late 30s,
                                                         climbing a corporate ladder, and driving the one car I
                                                         ever cared about. I am not a “car person.” I usually don’t
                                                         care much about what I’m driving as long as the engine
                                                         starts. But that car? That car was a silver Saab 900S. What
                                                         a car! I loved the way it handled, the way it looked, and
                                                         the way it made me look. I was convinced that a certain
                                                         cachet accompanied driving such a car.

                                                         I soon learned that a Saab 900S most decidedly did not
                                                         work for two toddlers or preschoolers. By this time, I was
                                                         a full time mom, having stepped off the corporate ladder.
                                                         I needed a vehicle that could accommodate car seats,
                                                         diaper bags, mini-coolers, and portable potties. I did not
                                                         need a Saab; I needed a minivan. Reluctantly, I joined the
                                                         army of minivan driving mothers.

                                                         I have no idea how many miles I put on the two or three
                                                         minivans we owned over the years. I regularly took the
                                                         children to visit my newly widowed mother, a three-
                                                         hour drive away. I drove to pick them up at school, to
                                                         take them to sports practice, to music lessons, to doctor’s
                                                         appointments. I drove them to summer camp. We loaded
                                                         up the minivan to head to the beach for a week.

                                                         In the minivan, I refereed sibling spats, handed snack
                                                         bags to grumpy children, eavesdropped on their
                                                         conversations with friends, and played books on tape
                                                         (Little Lord Fauntleroy was a favorite.) I picked them up
                                                         from sleepovers in those minivans.

                                                         I have no sense of direction and was lost far too often.
                                                         When GPS first came out and was advertised on TV, the
                                                         children instantly exclaimed, “MOM! THAT’S what you

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