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Ode To A Mini Van

Erika Petrelli
Erika Petrelli
Ode To A Mini Van

I love my mini van.  I know there are some out there who “rage against the mini van” and others who hold it as the symbol for a slow suburban death.   And hey, to each his own.     But I have to tell you:   I.   Love.  My.  Mini-Van.

My mini-van is like our second house.     In it the kids can find toys and snacks and blankets to cuddle with on cold days.    There is music.    We play and laugh and sing in that van, and nobody feels cramped.   My son calls it his “school bus” because it takes him to preschool.    When parked, it can serve as a room for changing diapers and for practicing gymnastics.   We go on road trips and “adventures” of all kinds in it.  We can carry ourselves plus extra friends or grandparents.   I have the space for an extra large diet coke in my cup holder as well as an extra large pack of wipes for inevitable spills, snots, and other catastrophes that occur while driving with small children.  I can reach back and touch them both, handing them said wipes, books, snacks, or other items needed RIGHT NOW.   It’s like our own private universe, where the music is loud and life is good.      Here is my daughter last week during a long trip east:

I mean, I just don't think life gets much better than that.

So, the mini van.   It’s not a sports car or a hybrid.  It’s not saving the earth or saving my youth.    It doesn’t speak of status and it doesn’t imply mystery.    It’s not trendy or fresh or new.  It’s a mini van, and it holds what you would expect:  crumbs, trash, sticky seats, old juice boxes and cups, car seats.     But I love it anyway.   I love the memories that are being shaped within its four doors, and so I drive it happily, despite the rolled eyes that might be thrown my way.

Come to think of it, I love lots of things that may make others roll their eyes.  I love predictable things and boring things and things that have been overplayed or have been around too long or that have long lost their luster.   Things like 80s music.   And paper calendars rather than Outlook reminders. And bacon.   Things like boot-cut jeans.   And photo albums that you put actual pictures in.   And real books.   And you know what?  I’m okay with that.    We love what we love, so we might as well love them proudly.

What do you love, no matter how many rolled eyes are thrown your way?    


Interested in having Erika’s blog come directly to your e-mail each Tuesday? Have comments to share?  E-mail her at erika@tlpnyc.com.

Erika Petrelli

By Erika Petrelli

Erika Petrelli is the Senior Vice President of Leadership Development (and self-declared Minister of Mischief) for The Leadership Program, a New York City-based organization. With a Masters degree in Secondary Education, Erika has been in the field of teaching and training for decades, and has been with The Leadership Program since 1999. There she has the opportunity to nurture the individual leadership spirit in both students and adults across the country, through training, coaching, keynotes, and writing. The legacy Erika strives daily to create is to be the runway upon which others take flight. If you enjoy these blogs, you should check out her interactive journal, On Wings & Whimsy: Finding the Extraordinary Within the Ordinary, now available for sale on Amazon. While her work takes her all around the country, Erika calls Indiana home.