200,000 miles?! Are you kidding me?! Nope….the ole’ mini-van and I recently reached this historic milestone. This van. Who knew that I’d still be driving THIS van, after all of these years. Shoot! For that matter, who knew I’d be a “Mini-Van Mom”?! (Insert sarcastic gasp here.) So many of my friends have sworn they will never drive a mini-van, as if driving a mini-van implies that the person behind the wheel is what? Less of a person? Not as cool as the woman behind the SUV? Seriously? For that matter, I’ll be quite honest, maybe I was one of those people before kids, bills, insurance premiums, and expensive fuel, but obviously I’ve now come to terms with the fact that the price and seating room was right on the ole’ mini-van so many years ago when it first came into our lives.
After 200,000 miles and 7 years, THIS van has seen it all….crying babies, potty chairs, spilled milk, melted gummy worms, chewing gum, markers, dogs, cats, hay bales, birthday parties,….but most importantly, it has heard a lot of talking. Good, wholesome, conversations between this mom and her kids. If I’m being honest, I must admit some “crazy mom” moments have taken place in THIS van too…OK, more than some, but it happens. More recently, as my kids have gotten older and more aware, I’ve also had the opportunity to force some of my Life Lessons upon my young passengers. What better place than THIS van while they’re strapped in safe and sound and I’m driving at a generally safe rate of speed?
One of my favorite Life Lessons comes when one of my young passengers has decided that THIS van is less than satisfactory. You know, kids will say the darndest things, such as, “Ms. Emily, you need a new car!” What a welcome comment that phrase has become! I feel the smirk emerging on my face as I type this now. My retort generally goes something like this, “Oh, I do?! Why (insert child’s name), do you think that I NEED a new car? Is there something wrong with THIS van? Is it not driving you to where you need to be? Would having a newer, fancier car make me a better person? Would you like me more?” The last two questions usually end the conversation, because the kiddos that I know, who ride in THIS van are all good kids whom we all enjoy, sometimes they just forget that THINGS do not make the person.
Yet, 200,000 miles?! Who am I kidding?! Of course, I’d like a new vehicle! My kids would LOVE it if Mom got a shiny, new ride! However, at this point (touch wood), it’s a WANT, not a NEED. THIS van has taught ME a valuable Life Lesson too, just in the fact that it KEEPS ON GOING and has made me realize that there are so many more important things in life than my WANTS. I admit, the struggle not to WANT is real, but being the proud owner of THIS van for the last 7 years has helped me to learn that the more things that I want, the more I am owned by things.