It was definitely not the first, but probably not the last thing I expected my husband to do when I told him we were expecting our third – begin immediate research into upgrading our car, with a particular emphasis on avoiding the minivan.
For weeks – 36, to be exact – we ran through our alternatives. I would receive emails that said, “If we do eventually break down and end up in a minivan, the [insert minivan make and model here] doesn’t look too terrible for what it is . . . “, followed by, “How about a 1976 Porsche 928 for me and 17 Subaru Bi-drive Recreational All-terrain Transporters for you and the kids?” We joked about buying a used super-sedan with a V-10 engine, a mini-minivan (could we get away with calling it a three-row wagon instead of a mini-minivan?), or a wagon with serious horsepower. But did we joke?
I knew when I married my husband that I was marrying a man who came from a long line of car enthusiasts. He was born and bred to love fast, powerful automobiles. One of our first dates was to the Detroit Auto Show. The Detroit Auto Show. Pre-kids, we hosted Top Gear viewing parties. With kids, we frequented auto shows (which, by the way, are an excellent form of entertainment for little ones). Logan was able to name almost every make and model of car by the age of two and a half. Katelyn was close behind. Shameful, I know. Thus, the thought of moving to a power-starved, ghastly unattractive minivan with an abhorrent turning radius nearly physically sickened my husband. Him and me both. The truth is, I am a bit of a car snob myself. I wouldn’t be caught dead in a minivan.
Minivans are family-friendly, sure. Dual-sliding doors, space, captains chairs, reverse-sensing systems, yada yada yada. Plenty of our friends have them. Plenty of our family members have them. So, what does it say about us that we tried so hard to avoid – what is for so many – the inevitable switch to a minivan? Are we just too vain to go the minivan route? Or are we steadfast in our convictions to stick with what we prefer rather than let our family size dictate our automotive choices? Too stubborn to succumb to the pressure of practicality? Or too youthful to drive around a box on wheels? I’m pretty sure all of those explanations describe us.
So, what did we do in the end? Dual sliding doors be damned. We opted for a sport wagon. The kids are a bit cramped, but they’ve gotten over it. And guess what the second most popular request, after listening to the Frozen soundtrack ad nauseam, is in our car? “Mommy/Daddy, can you put the car in sport mode?” Now tell me, minivan drivers, do you have a sport mode?