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The joy of the journey is in the ride

July 22, 2009
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When there were four of us — my husband, two kids, and myself — we carted the family from place to place in our four-door sedan. A blue Hyundai Excel hatchback sedan, to be exact. The car seated four people comfortably, was economic (AKA really ugly), and outside of the fact that it felt as though we were dragging an elephant behind us every time we encountered an incline in the road, it was a great family car. Until child number three came along.

With two kids and a new baby, we upgraded to the Mercury Sable station wagon. Now, if you had asked me when I was 15 if I ever thought I would drive a navy blue station wagon, the answer would have been “Hell, no!” I was going to be a rock star, after all, so why in the world would I need a big ass car like that? So, the day I looked out the window and saw the station wagon parked in my driveway I knew my journey had taken a serious detour .

Imagine how we looked, after our fourth child was born, the entire family crammed into that wagon. Three in the front; three in the back. I so wanted a minivan. Yeah, me. I wanted a minivan like most (childless, cool) people wanted a Ferrari. I drove that thing around town, head held high, as if it WAS a Ferrari. Four kids strapped in and still there was room for lawn chairs, coolers, frisbees, a portable crib — you get the point. I think., look back, that my judgement may have been compromised by sleep deprivation and the lack of social interaction with adults. So the minivan was my dream car?
The van was replaced about 7 years ago, when the kids starting leaving home, with a sportier Honda CRV. I bought it because I loved the truck sound it made when you put it in revers, but the CRV was about to be handed down to my 17-year-old son. I was, finally, stay with me…I was able to choose a car that worked for me, and me alone. I didn’t need to wonder if a carseat would fit or if four bikes could be attached safely to the back or if it could haul a pop-up trailer…it was all about me!

Ok, us (I still do have a husband at home, after all). So, I did it. I bought myself a convertible. A Nissan 350z — it’s a two-seater… Count ’em. Two…only two. No back seat. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the journeys we took in the sedan, the station wagon, and the minivan, but somehow I think that that I will find (almost) as much joy in this next phase of my journey.

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