That thing you said you would never do

I always said I would never drive a minivan. Maybe it was a result of those years at North Park, cruising around Albany Park in the Ford Aerostar (the Urban Outreach van) all the time. Maybe it was how I felt joining the minivan masses trying to pick the Staub girls up from their respective schools in Naperville when I would babysit. Or maybe it was my memory of a childhood with a Volvo station wagon at the center of life. I just could not see us making the choice to every buy a minivan.

Of course, I never saw us making the “choice” to have three kids in four years, either. And so it is that we are now passing our evenings on our respective computers, searching through Craigslist and submitting VIN numbers to Carfax, and getting Consumer Reports info from our dads. The fact is that neither of our cars can accommodate three car-seats, and the days of children sitting unrestrained in the “way back” of station wagons are gone. So, sometime before September, we need to join the ranks of “those people”, and find ourselves a decent minivan.

I truly hate car shopping. No matter how educated you are in making a decision, there is absolutely some amount of risk involved. Do you buy the higher mileage car because the loan would be more manageable? Or do you go into more debt to have a better vehicle that should last longer before requiring significant repairs?

We have been praying about this need for months. A new car was not at all in our plans, financially, and this will be a significant strain for us. We have been asking God to send us what we need, and we are continuing that exact prayer. We have seen so many other examples of literally miraculous provision come from places we could not have imagined, so we know that this need is not somehow out of God’s range.

Now I just have to get over my issues with being a minivan mom!


  1. HaHa…you brought back many “way back” memories. I thought we were the only ones who called it that.
    I’ve never quite understood the negative stigma of the minivan. They are practical and stylish. The driver has plenty of leg-room, as well as the freedom to follow through on the once idle threat, “Don’t make me come back there!”

  2. Let me officially welcome you to the Minivan Mom club! I didn’t see myself here either, but the minivan has been a blessing — no problem to lug my own three around, plus a couple more for good measure!

  3. seriously, erika, you will look hot in the drivers seat of that minivan. and they have pretty good speed and pick-up. good control. i actually really liked the days of driving my parents minivan around 🙂 good luck!! did douglas tell you about the car he found this morning? hilarious!

  4. First minivans are sooo yesterday in Naperville, it is SUVs or nothing. It also helps if you are smaller woman with a pony tail sticking out of ball cap. Talk on the phone constantly and have an irritated look.

    As to car buying, if you have a Carmax in your area they are great. No haggling and loads of qualirty cars. We just bought a car there and it was the best experience we have had.

  5. You totally made me laugh with the small woman/ponytail image. You are totally right!!! And I realize that my minivan comments do date me in the Naperville scene 🙂 So 90’s…

    I have friends who did the Carmax thing and had a GREAT experience. I will pass that along to Doug and we will take a look–thanks!

  6. Nathanael,

    What’s funny is that just this past week I read somewhere else where someone referred to the “way back” of their station wagon, and I never knew before then that other people called it that! So your comment today made me smile 🙂

  7. “First minivans are sooo yesterday in Naperville, it is SUVs or nothing.”

    Oh, great. So you’re telling me I’m not a cool Naperville Mom?

    Actually, I already knew that! I do believe I am the only one in the carpool line without doors that automatically open. So when the teachers aide comes to get the kids out of the car, they just stand there waiting for the longest time. Oh, yeah. I left cool quite awhile ago… 🙂

  8. I wonder how many of your readers rode/played/slept in cardboard boxes like you and Anna did when we took road trips. You guys would have such a great time!

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