If you give a Mom a baby, she’s going to want a carseat. If you give the Mom a carseat, she’s going to want a car to buckle her into.
Once she has buckled baby into her carseat three or four-hundred times, she’s going to want another baby. And another carseat. And another baby. And…
And then there’s the dilemma. Three carseats are a lot to put across the back seat of a standard sedan.
Now she wants needs a minivan. (Because no woman in her right mind actually WANTS to drive a breadbox.) The minivan is the 21st century equivalent of the station wagon—that dreaded stereotype on wheels.
We bought my first minivan, a Dodge Grand Caravan (which I never thought of as “mini” at all- it was big!) after our fourth (my second) child was born. Baby #4 is where the Celebrity I had been driving suddenly became too small for this family of 6. Did I mention that three of these children were in carseats at once? Not a pleasant experience for anyone riding in my car.
Trust me on this.
The Caravan was great until it… wasn’t any more. All I can say is don’t buy a Dodge. After replacing the engine (heads melted) and the transmission (crapped out at 80,000 because that’s what Dodge trannies DO), we traded it in on a brand spankin’ new Chevy Astro, with all wheel drive. This coincided with baby #6… or 12, depending on how you look at it. We were doing foster care, and had numerous little tykes and tots one after another. We kept one (D1), then we got another one (D2) who we were adopting too.
Meaning we needed—yet again—a larger vehicle. What do you drive when you have a family of 8?
Enter the Astro Van. My Astro could leap giant snow berms in a single bound and haul the entire Perkins family any place we wanted to go, but when gas prices jumped, it could also drain our bank account faster than anything we’d ever spent money on before. It went from $50 per weekly fill-up to $75, and it hurt.
Around this time, our oldest started driving her own car. We stumbled upon an almost too-good-to-be-true deal: A salvaged Toyota Sienna. It was only 3 years old, had 42,000 miles on it, and they only wanted $12,000 for it. A friend of a friend bought it at an auction in Pennsylvania and drove it all the way back here (to Eastern WA). He did the body work on it, and it was as good as new. SOLD.
We bought the Sienna and sold the Astro. I have driven that Sienna 100,000 miles as of this month (meaning it now has over 142,000), and it’s still going strong. It doesn’t have all wheel drive like the Astro, but it does well enough in the snow that snow tires are all I have ever needed for it when we get a load of white stuff. It has been the best car I’ve ever had. It has seen the best and the worst times of our family’s lives.
Something has happened lately though. These life seasons, they keep changing.
Three years ago we had five kids living at home. Today we have two. TWO KIDS! We’ve never only had two kids! We had three between us when we started dating, and our home has always been full. So has my van. Full of our own kids, full of friends, full of the busyness of an active family. Until lately.
Now, I don’t really need a van any more. Two weeks ago, my husband took me to a local dealership and bought me this.
It’s a big-girl car, not a Mom-Mobile! And it’s FAST. 🙂 That would be an Audi A4 Turbo.
It’s not new, (2003) but it only has 69,000 miles on it. It has been garaged and cared for meticulously. It’s gorgeous, seats five (with legroom in the back!) and I LOVE IT. And it’s not a breadbox.
17 years is a really long time to drive a breadbox…