“Just do me one favor- whoever picks me up at the airport, make sure they don’t have one of those Mommy cars with half eaten peanut butter and jelly sandwiches stuck to the seats.”
For a moment I wasn’t sure if the person on the phone was serious or kidding.
Was this person insulting the vans of mommies around the country?
I had hired this person to come out to do an event and that included transportation from the airport.
But the comment left me speechless.
This person was scorning my van.
My Mommy Van.
My van that is full to capacity – and we actually outgrew – and the van we spend countless hours in, driving to and from school, week in week out.
My van that kids are never allowed to bring food into, let alone leave a trace of it.
My van that I’m the designated driver of-which means for safety purposes I need to keep my eyes on the road and can’t be the food police.
My van that has granola bar wrappers and pieces of snacks scattered around, mostly from when I twist backwards while keeping my eyes on the road and hand them to the baby when he’s unhappy in his car seat and I’m about to go insane – and so I break my own rules.
My van that smiley and tired little people board each day with bulging pockets and birthday bags with the crumbiest foods that exist.
My van that brings out the best negotiating skills in me while I drive – bargaining and pleading to convince cranky toddlers that it’s ok if someone touches their armrest.
My van that hears conversations that shouldn’t be repeated and silly made up songs that make no sense but at least distracts the little passengers from annoying each other.
My van that bears witness to threats that aren’t kept and rewards that are over promised.
My van with a designated organizer bin in the front seat that hosts my roll of packing tape (for my Amazon returns), some broken CD covers, a box of tissues and some loose googly eyes, pipe cleaners and pom poms from crafts that didn’t make it – and that bucket is usually turned upside down, thanks to little hands that rummage without permission.
My van with chocolate coin wrappers that everyone promised to put in the garbage when we get home, but at the late hour I was so glad to be out of the van that even I forgot all about it.
My Mommy Van.
And I think somewhere in the back row there’s stickers on the window, even though that’s totally forbidden.
My van that I vacuum at least once a week…or at least I intend to.
My van that gets neglected because there’s so many things that move past it on the priority list.
My van that I promised myself in my naive pre-mommy days would never look the part of the Mommy Van.
My Mommy van – littered with the happiness and joy of a van full of kids, who love each other so much that they love nothing more than to drive each other crazy.
My Mommy Van heaped with a mother’s love and stretched patience for her rambunctious passengers.
Was that the Mommy Van this person was referring to, that I shouldn’t drive to the airport?
Were they implying that my Mommy Van was a badge of disgrace and not a badge of honor?
It’s my Mommy Van and I drive it with pride.
And if anyone wants a sterile, spotless and joyless ride – well, that’s what Uber is for.