A few weeks ago, I began pulling out of a parking space and my rear bumper sensor indicated someone was walking by behind me. Actually, the sensor let loose a piercing screech that caused all three kids to cover their ears and me to throw the car in park and karate chop the air while screaming HIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEYYYYYYYYYAAAAAHHHHH!
Apparently my rear sensor was on the fritz. That was its last swan song. My bumper will never beep another warning. May we all share in a moment’s silence.
When I first figured out that I wouldn’t have the beep to warn me if I was going to run over a bike, or a plastic basketball goal…or the dog, I panicked slightly.
“How will I back up if I don’t have the warning signal?” I lamented.
“Um…the same way you did for the first fourteen years you drove a car,” my
annoyingly amazingly practical husband answered. “Use your mirrors and turn around and look.”
Ah. Novel idea. He’s a keeper, that fella of mine. A keeper.
Of course this won’t save a stray bike that finds its way behind the back bumper, but if I hit their bikes, then hopefully lesson learned. Don’t leave your bikes under my dead rear bumper, kids. Don’t do it.
We could, naturally, get the sensor fixed – that would solve the problem lickety split, but I’m not sure I want to spend the money on that when, you know, I could just use my mirrors and turn my head around. Right?
I realize that my minivan, being a little over four years old at this point, is quickly heading down the hoopty van track. In fact, she’s sprinting there. When the bells and whistles start fading and the scratches from wayward bicycles and scooters make patterns down the sides, the luster of the minivan wanes.
This is part of the stigma of driving a minivan. People don’t want to drive them because when sticky, Nutella laden fingers slide down the sides and dot the windows, it becomes apparent that we’re farther away from the carefree days of our youth than we want to acknowledge.
Our moms drove minivans. Weren’t they old?
There’s another thing. Minivans get dirty. I’m pretty sure our minivan had the new car smell for 12.4 minutes. That was it.
That’s not very long.
Minivans take a beating on a daily basis for hours on end, and those of us driving them, while well-intentioned, simply can’t keep every stray french fry or Cheez-it or ham sandwich accounted for.
Some of them simply fall beneath the cracks.
Incidentally, have you noticed that french fries never mold? This is why they are the perfect food for feeding young children on the go. Drop those bad boys under the seat and never fear. They will harden into a perfect fossil – a reminder of the days when life was crazy and kids couldn’t get the food from a box to their mouths.
But no mold.
Good job McDonalds.
I’ll tell you what, though. Minivans have something something those shiny, fancy SUV’s and sports cars don’t. That’s right. They have that one thing that makes them hotter than all the rest. And that one thing is…
This is awkward…
Okay so a scratched up, sticky, faded, smells-like-sweaty-children-and-french-fries-fosselizing-under-the-seats minivan may not be anything more than convenient, alright? HOWEVER!
Those of us that drive the minivan, even the minivan with a broken sensor, we know that there is just something about them that makes us feel a teensy bit proud. Because every time we get in our minivans, whether they have all the bells and whistles, or perhaps just a solitary bell on its very last leg, we know that we are in the trenches. Life teems from the backseat and KidzBop screams from the speakers.
We make the minivan hot. Our families make the minivan hot. This season of life makes the minivan hot.
Hawt if you will.
And that is all.
So tell me, you minivan driving moms and dads? What about your minivan makes you feel hot/hawt?