Yesterday we reached a milestone. A BIG one. We traded in our uber-cool Audi Q5 (bought in Germany no less) for a – wait for it – a minivan.
I loved our Audi. LOVED it. J. was the one who wanted to buy it, originally, but I was the one who drove it the most. And I loved the hatchback, the German-made specs, the sexiness of the car – everything. But squeeze two huge car-seats with two kids, two adults, and a dog in it – and well – you don’t have much room for anything else. And the car definitely isn’t sexy anymore with the smell of kid feet and squashed Cheerios on the carpet.
I’ve long protested the fleet of minivans everywhere I go. I think they are hideous and I much prefer SUV’s (for their coolness, clearly). But SUV’s don’t have doors that magically open with a click of a button; they aren’t a few inches off the ground; and they don’t allow for multiple small people to easily get in and out of the back (esp. when they can’t buckle themselves in yet).
Our shrinking space became readily apparent when we tried to go on two road trips this summer and I sat in front while trying to hold an iPad with my left hand (no entrainment system in our uber-cool German car) and boxes of crackers, juice and toys stuffed at my feet while my kids yelled at me. I was done. DONE. Sign me up for the soccer mom brigade. My GOD there has to be a reason these things are EVERYWHERE in our Harris Teeter parking lot, right?!
So, as we bought our minivan, I got to thinking what other milestones I’ve hit recently that made me seem older.
1) Becoming a talk-radio junkie. I have the WAMU 88.5 app on my phone (NPR) and it’s one of my most used apps. It’s the only thing I listen to in the car (if the kids will let me) and if I’m lucky, I can play it in the kitchen while cooking (that’s when you know you are really getting old). In fact, I’ve found that I’ve started to find the TV sensory overload and the radio relaxing. Hello, grandma.
2) Attending a fundraiser/party and being one of the oldest in the room. I recently attended a party for my alma mater and was easily one of the oldest in the room by 15 years. Realizing that I was older than all the graduate students by a good 5-7 years was just the cherry on top.
3) Sitting on a nonprofit board. I just attended my first board meeting tonight and it does seem like that’s an older person thing to do. Now I just have to figure out what a 501c3 is (just kidding, I googled it).
4) 7 AM seems like sleeping in. In fact, I’m in a FANTASTIC mood if my kids let me sleep in until 7 AM. If my college-age self read that, she would be sitting in shock. Wait, no, she would be sleeping.
So, next week I’ll be driving my new minivan. Black with dark interior. At least I can try to make my mini-van sexy (a girl can dream, right)?