This week, my daughter turned six. This week, we bought a minivan.
I never thought my identity was wrapped up in a car, in a vehicle which takes us from point A to point B. But then I am from the Motor City and every person I know is at least two degrees from one of the Big Three. From my husband, who works in automotive advertising, to my Ford executive grandfather, to a friend who works as a personal chef for the Ford family.
Perhaps it's in my blood.
But maybe it's the fact that now, no matter where I go, I'm a MOM in a MINIVAN.
In the past, when I escaped the house without my two absolutely perfect children, I could hop in my SUV and, with the tinted windows hiding the two car seats in the back, I could pretend for a few minutes I was actually childless.
Not that I want to be childless at this point, but it's always nice to relive the best times in our past in whatever small ways we can. It was nice to escape my reality on a brief trip to the grocery store alone or on a date night with my husband.
In a minivan, no matter how tinted your windows are, you can never escape the fact that you are a Mom and you have succumbed to the convenience of carting five kids and all their gear at one time.
I am a mother, but first I'm Melissa. In my minivan, everyone I pass sees me as A Mom. That's my box and now I fit in it.
It took exactly six years, but I finally gave in. I drive a minivan now.