Our hopes were dashed a week and a half ago when the seemingly perfect used 12 passenger van we found at a local dealership fell from our grasp. But thanks to many moving parts including the future sale of our minivan, we are up and running with this:
Yup, our circus just got a whole lot bigger. I had to keep reminding myself about how in my early twenties I frequently drove not 12, but 15 passenger vans filled with 10-15 year old kids in and out of Beacon Hill in Boston (picking up equipment at the Appalachian Mountain Club), on our way mountain biking, or for week long trips camping in Acadia, Maine, Cape Cod, or New Hampshire when I worked for the YMCA.
A good friend who I was sharing this with yesterday said “Yeah you were pretty badass back then.” and then followed it up with “Well you’re still badass, just in a totally different way.” That made me laugh.
Badass as I may be, I was kind of afraid to get behind the wheel of this thing, partly because the van itself is so large and partly because it is such a declaration of the size of our family to the world. Sure we look like a bunch of clowns getting out of the minivan at this point, but it’s a minivan, they are a dime a dozen around here. But a full sized van… now we are a school trip, a livery service, or one of those families (feel free to fill in whatever stereotype for larger families you would like here) .
When I did finally drive it for the first time, truly (do you hear this Jon? -my old YMCA boss and Lauren -my partner in Y all those years ago) it was like coming home. I couldn’t help but shout out “Anyone want to go to Acadia?!”
Really it feels so great that Kevin, the kids, and I can all fit in one car/van now. Heading to Massachusetts to visit family no longer requires a van rental and we can all go together to church and any other visits, trips, etc. we need or want to make.
I am utterly grateful. A 12 passenger van is big, for sure, and like this over-sized in todays’ world family I’ve got, I’ve just got to own that this is where we are at.
Anyone looking for a minivan that seats eight? We’ve outgrown ours and have one to sell!
What is your minivan to van conversion, that unexpected part of your life that you’ve learned to “own” instead of try to hide or diminish?
I’d love to hear about it.
Sending y’all love from the journey.