The Swagger Wagon

We found it. After a month or two of searching, my wife would finally be able to get rid of her grandma car; her white 1996 Buick Century.  After driving nothing but a series of (for lack of a better term) beaters since turning 16, Missy was finally taking one giant leap in the in the world of automobile ownership.

Yes, the papers were signed and the deposit was made…a 2010 Chevy Equinox had her name on it.  Just eight short weeks from factory to dealership lot, and that sweet lookin’ ride was hers.  That is, until the hammer dropped.  You see, in those eight “short” weeks, we went from a family of two… to discovering that we were expecting to be a family of three… to discovering that we were expecting to be a family of five.  The sad realization that her sporty new little Crossover SUV would no longer suffice hit home hard.

“The larger Chevy Traverse seats eight”, I mentioned some time afterwards.

“Traverse?” she replied, looking at me sympathetically.  “Sweetheart, we can’t do an SUV.  It’s just not practical.  We’re going to have to start looking at minivans.

Ouch.  For a man who has gone through life constantly uttering the phrase “I will never own a minivan”, those were tough words to swallow.  Hearing them just made me want to start bashing my head on the kitchen counter.  Despite always having the desire to become the all-American family man, I felt that a minivan was always asking too much.  It is the iconic symbol of settled white suburbia and my youthful, unrestrained, globetrotting 20’s were sure to disappear as soon as I turned on the ignition.  Ownership was certain to be followed closely behind by socks with sandals and fanny-packs.

It turns out that I’ll do just about anything for these girls, because last Saturday Missy and I purchased a minivan.

The new family sled.

A view from the front.

We knew that the Buick wasn’t a safe enough ride for our precious cargo, the Equinox would be too small, and a larger truck-based SUV was just not a practical option.  So after researching and searching a bit more (and listening to rave reviews from friends and family), we bought a 2007 Honda Odyssey to fulfill our or kid-haulin’, grocery gettin’ needs.

However, buying a van with extra amenities such as run-flat tires, power doors and lift gate, leather interior, rear entertainment, and nav system gave us a little anxiety at first…did we really need all those extras?  Luckily, those same friends and family have all said that we will learn to love them, and become thankful that we have them.  So laugh all you want, but in all reality it’s a nicer vehicle than my Altima.

Well, so much for “never owning a minivan”.  All I need is an OBX sticker, a family of Ichthus fish, and an Iowa Hawkeye bumper magnet and I will be set.  I may have retracted myself imposed principles, but I do promise you this:  I will never, ever, wear socks with sandals.

Or a fanny-pack.

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About Tom Hardinge

Loving husband to my wife Missy, loving father to my four daughters Sienna, Rowan, Jovie, and Lola. I'm a chronic over-packer who loves good coffee, good music, running, waffle tee's, fleece pants, and Jesus Christ!

4 thoughts on “The Swagger Wagon

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