If the apron is the uniform of motherhood, then the van is motherhood’s company car. Now, when a mother first starts out, she has the starter car… it’s the two door model she attempts to “make do” until she has to move up to the dreaded “mini van.” It doesn’t take much time (or brains) to conclude that getting in and out of the back seat with a baby carrier and all the stuff doesn’t work well in a sports car.
You know, I’m gonna let you in on a little secret and it is this: I sort of
cringe bristle when I hear women talk about the “mini van” as though it were some sort of plague or dreaded disease. I try to figure out what they dread so much. I wonder what images are conjured up in their minds. When they say the words mini and van together, do they see thick gray-beige elastic support hose that cover large, dimpled legs with protruding vericosities and imagine that the boys in their high school senior class might not have aged and they did? Do they see a personal set of full dentures magnified through the side of a glass with fizzy cleaning solution in it? Do they see themselves through thick glasses, wearing hearing aids and a light blue sweater and walking in support shoes aided by a cane? Is it detestable to drive a mini van because of some misplaced value system that relegates anyone over twenty-nine and a half to the bone pile — or sees anyone with a bit of aging as someone of less value and personal worth? Or worse: someone with more than two children as… what?! I cannot think of words here.
I shake my head and try to figure it out… and I think: what a messed up society that determines the worth of a person by the make and model of the car they drive and the number printed on the label of the jeans they wear. So… this is my rant for the day.
You know… little kids never say – O, yuck: a mini van or O, yuck: a 12 passenger van or whatever. No… they know that mama needs a car for her babies (and their friends), for the groceries, the strollers, the carseats, the pack ‘n play and all the other paraphernalia children require. I don’t know any little children who haven’t been thrilled to pieces when the family moves on to the “big car!”
Little children don’t measure their worth (or failings) by things. Really and truly, they don’t measure their worth by the type or the size of car their mama thinks is cool – no, they get their worth by the way their mama sees them. And believe me, when the mama is ashamed of where and who she is: the children know it (and their behaviour betrays it).
So, today, as my husband was handing my set of keys over to the mechanic and thanked him for the work he’s done to help us with our vehicles, I thanked the mechanic for taking such good care of my sports car. I love that sports car; mmm, mmmm, mmmm, really. It’s a 15 passenger sports car, and it’s my dream car. Really. When I’m driving along, whether the seats are all occupied or not, it’s my dream car: it’s filled with all my dreams.
I so wish women would see the unequaled gift that children are and embrace the gift enthusiastically and drive motherhood’s vehicles with delight!
When the hearts of fathers are turned to the children… and when women throw away the tabloids and quit measuring their appearance, work & worth by the women in People magazine and when they begin to embrace the high calling for which they were created, and when children are brought home, and taught and valued as the blessings God says they are and when children are esteemed as highly as most esteem possessions, a law degree or some other title, and when children are seen as priceless treasures from the LORD, then there will be a high demand and a shortage of 15 passenger dream cars. Count on it.
Look out the window, mama… if you’ve got a van in the parking area, then you already have a dream car. It’s not just anyone who can drive a van… you’ve got to be somebody pretty special to have that privilege. And you know what’s more? The season of this privilege is very short. Very short.
Remember that, the next time a young mom laments her “problems” and shares her disdain for… the dreaded mini van.