Over the holidays, I reached a new milestone.
No, I didn't run a marathon. I didn't learn to cook a gourmet meal or sew a dress or knit a sweater.
My husband and I had "the talk" -- is it time for us to buy a minivan?
It all started with our trip back to Illinois for Christmas. Given that this was our daughter's first "real" Christmas (she was a mere 2 weeks old during her actual first holiday), we knew the grandparents would max out our vehicles.
So we decided to rent a minivan, thinking this would best suit our purposes.
It did. But we didn't expect to fall in love.
Enter the 2014 Chrysler Town & Country. It looks nice from the outside, though it's definitely a minivan.
But it's the inside that will steal your heart.
Stow-away seating, ample storage space, six front-seat accessible cup holders, not to mention the leather seats, DVD player and satellite radio.
Oh, the convenience!
And, oh, the inner turmoil!
I don't think anything can prepare you for the first time you contemplate buying a minivan -- the first time you think, "Yeah, I could totally rock this mom-mobile."
We spend a good portion of our lives bemoaning this sensible vehicle as something only longed for by "soccer moms," sneering at its extensive storage capacity as excessive and unnecessary.
I was burdened with driving a minivan for a period of time while I was in high school, much to my dismay. The perks: I could fit a whole bunch of friends in the back. The drawbacks: They all made fun of my ride.
We called it the "silver bullet," because it was silver and minivans have a nose arrow-dynamically similar to a bullet. Of course.
I couldn't wait to have my own car, something "cooler" to drive around town.
"I'll never drive a minivan again!" I might have dramatically announced upon my final excursion in the frumpy mom-mobile.
If my 16-year-old self could see me now.
But the silver bullet's removable seats were clunky and had to be taken out of the vehicle. The radio was but AM/FM/cassette. No volume controls on the steering wheel. No under-seat storage.
Weighing the pros and cons of the vehicle is pretty much like talking to a high schooler.
"It's so awesome!" But it's still a minivan. Lame.
"I keep trying to find things I don't like about it," my husband said a few hundred miles into our trip.
Despite the "uncool" factor, it's a practical family vehicle.
I imagine everyone struggles with decisions like this in their lives, something that seems trivial, but is somehow squarely contrary to who you think you are as a person.
Sometimes, practicality has to win -- even if it means buying a minivan.
Katie McCarthy, firstname.lastname@example.org or 706-571-8515.