196,000 Miles and Still Running Like a “Top”

School for my younger three began on Monday. I dragged my feet…truly…, not at all enthusiastic about getting the kids back to school (although I LOVE where they attend). I would have preferred to have them longer. You know, to wear out their welcome and my patience. Just didn’t happen.

I tried to focus on seeing parents, faculty and staff again. After all, it had been a few months, and I missed them.

So, we arrived at school. I meandered along the winding road that edges the school buildings, dropping one child off here and two off there, my windows rolled down in the cool sunshine. I waved to parents I knew. Very few waved back. When picking my kids up in the afternoon I experienced the same thing. You see, I was driving another car—my “iconic van” (labeled by a number of parents as such) retired.

Today I cleaned the out the remaining trash, first-aid kit supplies, sketchpads, colored pencils, pens, erasers, pencil sharpeners, scissors, lined paper, games, puzzles, soccer balls, air pumps, cleats, shin guards, blankets, camp chairs, magazines, books, paper towels, wipes, tissue, sunscreen, tampons, recyclable trash bags, coupons, toys, stuffed animals, Goodwill donations, umbrellas, CDs, DVDs, and more. My van was the quintessential heaven of “stuff” to make us comfortable and keep us entertained and busy during the 196,000+ miles. It was always packed and ready to accompany us to our next destination, like a gargantuan diaper bag…

Mark believed my van, originally purchased for the purpose of mommy-driving our then six- and one-year-old, and then two more babies from infant carriers to toddler seats, to booster seats to none, might last five years. The van surprised us; twelve years plus.

The vestiges of us are gone, however the scents of kids, ripe sports socks and shoes, food, and spills (Did I mention that one of the boy kitties peed on the seat a few years ago? Vinegar works to some degree…) remain. It was more than just a van, friends. My vehicle shepherded my family safely thorough twelve years of life and changes and an accumulation of memories of road trips, camping and vacations. I hope the van lasts some time for the next owner. (Yep, we sold it! ) 🙂


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Filed under Adoptive Mom's Perspective, Parenting, Rite of Passage, The International Mom

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