OK I have a big decision to make and I need your help.
For 18 years I’ve been driving a people mover. A minivan. For the last four years, its been a six-seater Ford Flex, but it still the same. To tell you the truth, even though I love the car, it’s huge. Like very difficult to parallel park. And, my teenagers hate driving it. They say it’s embarrassing. They’re lucky to have access to a car, but making them realize that is a whole other conversation.
My lease is up soon, and I’m shopping for a new vehicle. I’m leaning to another SUV with comfortable seating for 7, while my husband is encouraging me (rather vociferously, I have to say) to downsize to a five-seater. Because you know, we don’t need that many seats anymore.
I have three children. So, if I have a five-seater car, we could never road trip ever again. I don’t think it would be a good decision to line up my giant babies in a row and drive them anywhere for more than one hour. It would be carnage.
Buying a smaller-ish car/SUV would mean that family-life as I know it would be over. At least that’s what it means to me. Is that even rational?
My 16-year old son (who is biased and obviously campaigning for a chick machine), said
So you want to buy a car for the ONE time a year that we might go somewhere all together in the car for an extended period of time?
The guy at the car dealership, who obviously has a vested interest in pushing me to the most expensive car, said
So you want to buy a car for the ONE time a year that your family might go somewhere all together in the car for an extended period of time?
I said to my husband,
I need space for my people. You know that.
My husband said,
You know that we have one off to university, and Ben goes in another year. You know they’re growing up and leaving, right? You know you don’t have people in the same sense of the word, don’t you?
Shhhh. I walked away, shaking my head.
I couldn’t wait until my carpool days were over. I can assure you that I have less than no desire (is there even such a thing?) to drive a bunch of other people’s kids around. I don’t want the seven seats so my kids can drive their friends around, using up my gas, and leaving their curious waterbottles filled with ‘orange juice’ in my back seat.
I don’t want the seven seats to haul other people.
I want the seats because I want to haul my people. My babies.
Is there a 12-step program for Mothers-Who-Aren’t-Ready-For-Their-Kids-to-Grow-Up-Yet?
MWARFTKGUY. That’s catchy, right?
It’s weird. I love all of the accoutrements of having teenagers. I don’t need to pay a babysitter. I don’t have parent-teacher interviews or toys or tiny packages of anything. I have tons of free time. I don’t have to cut food up into pieces. I don’t have to drive people everywhere at all hours. I don’t have to go to birthday parties! I have my bed to myself. I can supervise decisions instead of making them. Did I mention I will never carpool again?
There are so many benefits to having older children. But, these same benefits are also negatives (except for the paying a babysitter…)
Sometimes I want to meet-the-teacher, or have someone suck all my time, or have warm bed cuddles or make absolute decisions. Sometimes I want to eat birthday cake that some kid spit all over when blowing out the candles.
Sometimes I want to drive them around. In a 7-seater vehicle.
Getting a chariot built for five means I’m accepting the inevitable. It’s symbolic of time marching.
I cannot wrap my head around the possibility that in less than five years, it will be like it was in 1993-me, the man, and the dog (well, we have two dogs now. So almost the same.)
Maybe I should extoll the benefits of being part of the boomerang generation. My son did say that when he grew up he was going to live in my basement. He was four at the time. But, kids do say the darndest things…
Anyways, please help. Do I downsize my car or do I give myself four more years to accept the way-too-quick passing of the Sands of Time?