I swore at one time in my life (you know, before I had kids and still knew everything) that I would never drive a vehicle as uncool as a minivan. But then came babies, car seats, toddlers and 24-four hour taxi duties. I’m here to tell you: I have seen the light, and the world from the driver’s seat of my minivan is a magical land filled with glitter and unicorns. Here’s why the minivan rules the road:
1. House on Wheels
Precisely what made a minivan seem so uncool to my pre-kids self is what makes it completely awesome now that tiny humans run my life. It’s like a studio apartment on wheels, with enough room to store all the soccer balls, winter coats, Goldfish crackers, strollers and random other junk-necessities we could ever need. My van has a makeshift mini-fridge in the dash, for Pete’s sake. Cold chocolate milk two hours into afternoon errands? Done.
2. Mobile Office
I may or may not be writing this while parked in the pick-up line at school. Need to chat? Step into my office, and feel free to direct the AC vents as you wish. I even have a window in the ceiling, so I think that earns me extra cool points.
3. Rear Entertainment System
Granted, plenty of other family cars also have this glorious modern amenity, but in a minivan, it’s extra awesome. Ours even has wireless headphones so the little people can listen to Doc McStuffins administer her checkup for the 3,000th time, and I’m free to jam out to my extensive library of burned CDs full of ’90s music (don’t judge).
4. Fine Dining
When my husband had to work Father’s Day, we brought a quick lunch to him, tailgate style. Sure, we got some funny looks eating tacos on a blanket on the stowed backseats of the van, but it seemed better than picnicking on the asphalt of the hospital parking lot. Clear windows and full bellies, can’t lose.
5. Sliding Doors
My kids went through a phase where they thought I was doing this by the powers of my mind (next up: bending spoons). It is pretty awesome to push a button and watch the doors slide open, especially when balancing a baby on my hip, carrying a dozen grocery bags in my arms and herding a toddler away from oncoming traffic. Added bonus: My 4-year-old will never inadvertently cause a door ding. It’s also easier to close the doors when I’m carrying a 40-pound sleeping preschooler into the house.
6. Changing Station
I despise public bathrooms, but I absolutely loathe their community changing tables. The germaphobe in me cannot bring myself to lay my baby on one, but sometimes, you’re out and the diaper needs changing. Solution: Fold down a seat in the back of the minivan, and voilà, it’s an instant changing station, and it’s only our dirt and grime she’s lying on.
7. Date Night Dynamo
My husband and I strolled out of a restaurant one date night and walked up to our van only to find the doors wouldn’t open. And someone else’s car seats were in the back. Our van was parked two spaces down, but we high-fived each other over our obvious coolness for owning a vehicle awesome enough to be duplicated.
8. The Little Things
Fourteen cup holders. An actual, non-USB electrical plug-in. Handy storage compartments I can shove DVDs, crayons and unruly children (kidding!) in. Concave, bus driver-esque mirror for backseat spying. Backup camera. My minivan has all these little nooks, features and gadgets that make shuttling kids around a little more thrilling for my inner geek.
9. Going the Distance
I love my kids. But sometimes, it’s awfully nice having the two oldest—whose favorite pastime is bickering—all the way in the back row. Maybe it’s the high ceilings or the fact that there’s an entire row of seating between us, but whatever it is, the feeling of wide open space sometimes saves my sanity.
10. Undeniable Cool
I am unashamed of the minivan. I embrace the minivan. I have minivan swagger. My former twentysomething, sleek little sedan-driving self would probably cringe at my predictably soccer mom-ish ride, but no matter. I’m cool, and I know it.