Sunday, July 1, 2007

Pride Goes Before a Fall, part one

Wow. I haven’t been able to enjoy this summer on account of I’ve been spending every waking moment eating my body weight in graduation cake. On Saturday alone we went to a total of 10 high school graduation open houses. Yep. I didn't fix a meal all day. I even encouraged the kids to stuff some extras in their pockets for the next day.

I love talking to the graduating seniors, seeing the look on their faces of relief, freedom, excitement and the universal right to call a teacher by their first name. Little do they know that what they are about to experience is more freedom but it’s disguising the path which will lead them closer and closer to a mortgage and mini van. Poor unfortunate souls.

Speaking of mini van…I have a story to tell equal in its ridiculousness only to the "What did Paris eat when she got of jail" story. But first, a little background on my mini-van past...I wrote this awhile ago but the pain refuses to subside.

Here it is...The Fall from grace...

Yep. We did it. We drive a mini van. We’ve actually had it for awhile now but it’s taken me this long to acknowledge it in writing. Before my other friends had even turned 30, (the minimum age requirement for purchase) they were ecstatic about their mini vans. They flaunted their dual sliding doors, ample trunk space, and little gadgets that made riding long distances with kids guaranteed delightful.

Not me. Oh no. I was not about to buy a mini van, the beacon of mid-life mediocrity. I scoffed, scorned and sneered at their lemming like willingness to drive what looks like a burp on wheels. I would not go down with out a fight. I would buy an SUV, to my utter delight.

It was beautiful. Bright, cherry red with chrome wheels. I’m not supposed to mention the make and model but it rhymes with “lodged mango.” It was art on wheels and I was still cool. Then came the twins.

With three kids, there was plenty of room in our defiantly purchased automobile. However, when you add two more babies, and their required seating arrangements, the ample room shrinks considerably. The flip down seat which allows entrance to the third seat invariably flips down on an appendage. I can’t squeeze all these kids in without thrusting someone head first over the middle seat. Usually someone gets kicked in the head, but with any luck, it won’t leave a mark. I jam all five kids in and then quickly close the door, much like one does with an over packed suitcase.

Once, when we were on vacation, we stopped at a gas station. I watched the lady parked next to us gawk inconsiderately as I unleashed the dam of children. I told the three older kids to sneak around to other side of the car and get back in. When it was all said and done, it looked as if there were 12 children streaming from the car. The look of disgust on her face was priceless. My husband said that was mean, but I say people shouldn’t stare.

Can we talk about the amount of space in the third seat? When the boys were five, there was plenty of room. However, as the kids got bigger, I realized that the only way to have leg room in that third seat is to a) not have legs or b) be of Lilliputian descent.

To avoid future visits from children’s services, we acquiesced to the voice of reason and released our SUV to a happy place where it could roam free. And we are the owners of a blue mini-van.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. When our kids saw the minivan, they whooped and hollered and carried on with such glee. Silly me, I thought they’d be disappointed to give up the SUV. They love the gadgets, plus, they get to leave the van without a minor head injury.

The other day, on the way to somewhere, a bright, red Hummer whizzed by us but not before I caught a snickering glimpse from the well coiffed woman in the passenger seat.

Oh well, my kids think I’m cool

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