Next up in our Cribsters Contributor series, we warmly welcome Kathy of My dishwasher’s possessed! Kathy is a mom to three, wife to one and owner of a possessed appliance. She also is the co-founder of the online magazine, Bonbon Break. She started her blog in the fall of 2010 after many doctors, teachers and friends suggested that life with three children with a variety of learning issues, including her daughter with extensive special needs, might be of interest. She posts a weekly essay each Sunday. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Thank you Kathy!
Me and My Minivan: A Love Story
I have a confession to make, I love my minivan.
I realize this admission confirms what my sisters always said about me: I’m not cool. That’s fine. My minivan and I can take it. It’s my badge of honor that announces to the world each and every day, I’m a mom and I’m proud!
Now I know what you may be thinking, what’s really the big deal about driving a minivan?
Let me explain a few things. First, I didn’t learn to drive until I was 35, and I did that only because we were moving to the suburbs.
Unlike Manhattan, where I’d lived for 14 years, on Long Island, driving is a necessity – not just an occasional alternative to public transportation.
I was positive that I’d never overcome my fear of driving, but I did. It required a small fortune in driving lessons and a teacher that became a candidate for sainthood, but it’s an accomplishment I’m very proud of.
Second, I never thought I would have enough children to warrant a minivan.
Children didn’t come easily to my husband and I, so once I had my second child I thought we were done. Life had other plans. I got the happiest shock of my life when after two babies who were conceived under the watchful eye of a fertility specialist, I found myself pregnant with our third child at 39.
I quickly found out the minute you tell people the stick turned pink for a third time, there’s an amazing amount of pressure to announce this miracle by the car you drive.
Most of the pressure came from my parents, who thought it was practically child abuse to put their grandchildren in anything less than a minivan.
These are the same people who took my two sisters and I on more family trips than I care to remember stuffed in the backseat of my father’s green Volvo with bags of cow manure in the trunk for my father’s organic vegetable garden. We were allowed two pit stops per four-hour drive to my uncle’s dairy farm.
Now that they’re grandparents they sing a very different tune.
These two no-nonsense parents get mad at me because I don’t have pillows and blankets in my car when I transport their beloved grandchildren the six-block ride to my house from theirs.
Each time I get behind the wheel of my mom-mobile I feel an odd sense of pride. I did it. I became a mom. Look at my dirty minivan with school papers scattered in the backseat and cookies smashed in the carpet: I’ve arrived.
This sense of pride and joy sees me through some of my more challenging days.
Days when I get tired of my own voice saying, get into the car we are going to be late…Get into the car…The car…Car…Now…Into the car!
The lovely case of teen attitude that can make a morning drive so much fun. Or the barrage of questions my eight year old can give me, such as, if girls get periods do boys get question marks, in the time it takes to drive just two blocks.
The painful days when I realize that my beautiful daughter with an undiagnosed brain disorder is never going to be able to live on her own.
I hear the arguing, the silly jokes, and the laughter coming from the backseat and I can’t help but feel blessed and grateful.
There were times I really thought that the life and the children I love so much would never be mine. There were so many obstacles to overcome. Yet, I did it.
I have become the mom that I always wanted to be.
My minivan is a tangible reminder that all the things I once thought were impossible are not impossible at all.
*This essay is adapted from a post that ran on my blog, My dishwasher’s possessed! under the name, Me, Myself and My Minivan on September 25, 2011