I remember when we first had Eden, I was obviously pretty pumped about having a daughter, but I vowed then to never to be the owner of a Minivan. We would be the cool parents, you know the ones, they just throw the baby in their messenger bag and hop on a motorcycle as they speed off to whatever cool social event they had just been invited to. Obviously showing up fashionably late.
That dream died this week.
I’ve heard it said that owning a minivan is the death of cool. And while that’s true, I never realized how little value “cool” would be to me at this season in life. I remember reading Paul Reiser’s book “Babyhood” in college, and this paragraph has stuck with me through the years:
“The Mini-Van is the last stop down in the ‘I used to be cooler than this’ slide. Because in a Jeep you can still at least pretend to be cool. When you’re at a stoplight and an attractive woman pulls up alongside you, you can still smile and convince yourself, ‘Maybe she thinks I’m enormously rugged, and the car is loaded up with equipment for that dangerous geological expedition.’ But in a mini-van you’re fooling no one. You’re on a your way to Gymboree, the side compartments are stuffed with diaper wipes, and the interior is all sticky with Apple juice. But you know what…You’re a dad, not Indiana Jones.”
I remember when I first read that paragraph thinking how sad for those people. But despite my digging my heels in, we now are the proud owners of a previously owned Minivan. Even though I suggested a Viper as a sensible alternative. Driving back from Dallas Thursday night, I felt an unexpected sense of sadness. Not just for my loss of pride. But for the loss of a season of life.
Everything has changed so quickly over the last year. We now have two kids, we live in an entire different city, and we’re working at an entirely different church. We’re selling one house and looking for another, and it seems like our little Jeep Compass was the last continuous thing in our lives. And we had lived a lot in it.
There was the time that we were rear ended by a car going 40 mph…while I was riding in the hatch. Then there was the wreck that happened that turned into a Hit and Run…and so we chased the guy for 10 minutes. There was the time I was driving and “bumped” the motorcycle in front of us. It was the car that I drove Leslie to the hospital for both Eden and Samuel’s birth. That Jeep was the Giving Tree of cars.
Now I know the danger of attaching sentiment to our stuff. First you’re emotional about selling your old car, next thing you know your the creepy guy with a room full of coasters from your favorite restaurants. But the truth is that this has been a hard year of change.We’ve said goodbye to a lot of friends and mentors, and hello to several new ones, and it’s easy to want stability wherever you can find it.
But this morning as I reflect over the last year, I realize that this is the story that we signed up for when following Jesus. Because from Abraham on, being sedentary just isn’t a high priority for God. Seasons come and seasons go. And above it all, He directs our paths, and will raise up new relationships and friends wherever He takes us.
I just hope they realize how cool a minivan can be.