I’ve spent a lot of time burning up the road the last few days. As such, my mini van and I have bonded a little more closely than most weeks. (And I have a feeling, the older the boys get, the more friendly we’ll all become with the van.) This morning, as I opened the door to catch a whiff of dirty diaper smell that has manifested itself into the carpet (from a diaper that is either hiding somewhere or was just that bad that days later we can still smell it), I realized this van is much more than just a vehicle.
Outside of home, our van is where we spend a lot of our time going to and from places. She deserves a name.
I thought about how mini vans have earned a bad rap and get pegged as lame mom vehicles. But over the years, they’ve regained some finesse. People have made YouTube parodies about the “swagger wagon,” and now, the mini van is a staple for all the coolest moms.
So I started thinking as I sat in traffic, this van needs a name. I like combining words to make new word-plays, so my wheels started spinning. I thought about the term “swagger wagon” and how I could use that.
First I came up with swagon. Lame.
Then I thought about how I love to throw the word “mom” into other words and create new ones related to motherhood. You know the usuals… Momfession, momarrazzi, momtrepreneur, mompetition. You can throw the word mom into almost anything.
I didn’t like swagon so then I thought, well, it’s a mom wagon. Magon? Nope…sounds too much like maggot. Mogan? Dumb. Momon? No…these all just sound like other words missing important syllables.
Then it hit me.
Maggie! Kind of combines mom and wagon, but gives her a real name. Perfect!
While driving, after MUCH thought and MANY failed combos, I also created a combined name for the boys. Conlukan….! If I want to add the mom in there it can be Monlukan. (This was just for fun because I was in a lot of traffic, but if all of Hollywood has little combo names like Brangelina, then my boys and I can have one too.)
But I digress.
Maggie has now been with us since I found out I was pregnant with Luke in March of 2013. He will be 1 on Sunday so that means Maggie is about a year and a half old.
That’s a year and a half of memories.
This van has accommodated my expanding, and shrinking, family over the last year. It drove my contracting body to the hospital almost a year ago and then brought my baby boy home after he was born. It has taken all 3 of my sons to the ER on several occasions. It’s carried my entire family at times. We’ve traveled, gone on play dates, driven to church faithfully at least twice a week for the last couple years.
There have been hours of sleep inside this van. I’ve nursed my baby in the floor of the back seat. I’ve sat in the back of the van with my boys and watched movies in parking lots. It’s been a jungle gym, a changing room, a place of solitude, peace and quiet, and a place of utter chaos and noise. That van has seen dance parties, screaming matches, breakdowns and victories. It has seen my sons grow from babies to toddlers. It’s seen us go from a family of 5 to me being a single mom of 3.
This van has been the vessel for our fun filled, active, crazy, amazing life.
There have been hundreds of diaper changes, outfit changes and life changes. There’s currently an unrelenting poopy diaper smell, mounds of crackers, cheerios, and stale popcorn pieces in every nook and cranny. I’ve spilled coffee, makeup, milk and many tears in that van. There are random diapers stuffed into pockets behind seats, books, toys, umbrellas, sippy cups, and everything but the kitchen sink. Each time I clean it out, we could feed a community with the amount of food I pull out.
It’s messy. It smells at the moment. It doesn’t have the new car scent anymore and you can clearly tell kids are its occupants. There are stains and an infinite number of crumbs in between seats. There are mysterious sticky things on the inside and a couple of dings on the outside.
It’s not glamorous, but it’s mine and my boys’.
I look inside that van and I see life. My life. My boys lives. Memories of each season we’ve been through and endured together. Plans for our future and dreams of what’s to come. I see my babies.
This morning as I drove to an appointment without the boys, I realized their spirits are inside that van. I carry them with me everywhere I go. When I look in the rear view mirror and see their empty car seats, the essence of my sons still exists. Their laughter permeates the walls just as the dirty diaper smell permeates the air.
They love riding in the van and going places. They feel safe in there. Secure. Comfortable. At home even. And so do I. This van has become a piece of us and holds pieces of our lives within it. It’s not just a lame mini van. It’s like another part of our family. A member of our family who holds memories, both past and future, of a life well lived.
So thank you Maggie, for taking such good care of me and my boys. For carrying us everywhere we need to go. For holding our memories and my babies. And for helping me live my dream of motherhood in the coolest way possible!
Has your vehicle become a part of your family like Maggie has ours? Tell me all about it! ☺