Do We Really Need A Minivan?

The Next Family

By: Heather Somaini

Ah, my poor car.  My brand new Prius with the infamous California carpool lane stickers…one of my few prized possessions.  I had told Tere when they came out with a model that made sense, she should buy one immediately since she was commuting down to Orange County every day.  Of course she said “no”, swearing she would NEVER give up her convertible Mercedes.  She’s such a snob.  A lovable snob, but a snob nonetheless.

That new model with the leather seats and Bluetooth and Sirius radio came out in the summer of 2006.  Since Tere refused to get one, I did.  I think I drove it for only a couple of weeks before the carpool lane stickers arrived and mysteriously, Tere “had” to drive it somewhere.  Soon, she was driving it every day to work and put a ton of miles on it in only four months.  I was so happy when the Prius returned to me at the end of October when Tere started that new job in Century City.

But then she borrowed it one more time and brought it back to me SQUOOSHED.  It was so sad.  Both ends were crumpled in.  I was surprised how well it had held up actually.  The ends were smashed but the rest of the car was ok.

As the weeks started to mount up in our pregnancy, Tere finally started to realize that the convertible Mercedes was not going to cut it.  She agreed to give it up.  It had a million miles on it but we actually found a buyer – through craigslist, of course! – and sold it pretty quickly.  We agreed upon what Tere called a “crossover”.  I’m not 100% sure it actually was but let’s humor her for now.  She wouldn’t give up the Mercedes so we ended up with an R300.  It was a stunning car actually.  It seated 6 people, had every gadget you could think of and I didn’t feel like I was in a minivan.

The minivan thing was key.  Our family was about to double in size and we had no idea how to make that work.  Would we need two car seats for each car?  If we had a car without a third row of seats, we would never have room for anyone else but us.  How would that work?  What about lugging strollers and park toys and luggage and…OMG, there was just too much to think about!  I just knew that there was no way on God’s green planet I was going to drive a MINIVAN!  No minivans.  There should be a rule that no one should ever feel required to buy a minivan, no matter how big your family is.  Period.

A few days after the car accident, we went to see Dr. C.  She checked and everything seemed to be fine.  We wanted to know if Tere could travel for Christmas and Dr. C said she would check again in a couple of weeks.  Everything seemed like we were going down the right path.  No troubles at all.  It’s fun thinking back to those days when everything seemed so carefree and easy.  I know at the time it all seemed so stressful and overwhelming.  There were so many decisions to be made.  So many things to pick out.  So much advice to listen to from everyone around us.

Soon all of that would fade away as our real crisis began.  There is no way to see it coming.  I’m glad we didn’t; it would have been too hard.  I’m glad it just happened and we walked into it unknowing and together.

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