Our van was 12 years old. We had said that we were going to drive it until it fell apart, and it was getting to the point to where we were putting in the shop every few months. When we found out we were expecting baby #7, we had officially outgrown it. We decided that we would not fix it again—instead, we began looking at vans that would seat at least 9 people.
The end came unexpectedly. While driving down the freeway, during afternoon rush hour, in 102 degree weather, while I was by myself with the five younger children, it quit. No warning lights, no weird sounds beforehand…it just died. I pulled over to the shoulder and unloaded the children, instantly grateful that we had water bottles, a cell phone, and that I was wearing a tank top and shorts instead of the long jeans that I had put on that morning. Even so, there was a big fence stretching the length of the freeway that separated us from a hospital with an air-conditioned lobby. We had to climb over it. The older two kids went first, I handed the younger ones over to them, and I climbed over last. I’ll bet we were a sight!
So out with the old and in with the new. We now have a newer model, low mileage 15-passenger van. Not only do we have room for all of us to fit comfortably, we also have room to bring a few of our friends along with us! It was almost 8pm by the time we got home with our new van, and the children jumped up and down excitedly in the driveway as we pulled up. We piled them all in and cruised through Sonic like the cool family we are, jamming to Blue Oyster Cult and Weird Al. We cruised around town and down the back dirt roads, singing Billy Joel’s “River of Dreams” with gusto. We pulled into McDonald’s and got ice cream at 10pm. And then we cruised on home.
We couldn’t resist hopping on the stick-figure family bandwagon.
I never imagined I’d be driving such a big ol’ van.