No one wakes up one morning and says, "I'm going to go out and buy that gas guzzling mini-van I've always dreamed about." The reality that you need a mini-van hits you upside the head one day. We tried living without one. And, we made it about 8 months; then we decided to go on vacation. Now, we were smart enough to realize that our four-door sedan wasn't big enough to transport all our twin's stuff, so we did borrow a Toyota Highlander. In the back of the vehicle we crammed two pack-n-plays, two portable high chairs, a double-stroller, and one set of golf clubs. Once all that stuff was packed, we stared at the other stuff we needed to take, like our suitcases.
We talked about a mini-van after vacation, but didn't do anything about it. A short time later, our car needed major work. We decided it was a sign. We started Internet shopping for a mini-van. I wanted something bold, something that said "Yeah, it's a mini-van. You wanna make something of it." And, perhaps most importantly, something I could find in the parking lot. I found a lipstick red mini-van with everything we wanted. I loved it, even though I only saw it on my computer screen. I imagined walking out of the grocery store and being able to pick it out without hesitating.
My husband went to look at it. He test drove the mini-van we eventually bought. It doesn't scream anything except "suburban mom." It's navy blue. Yes, safe, classic navy blue. The red one I wanted was already sold by the time he arrived -- or at least that's the story I was told. I thought about how much I wanted my red mini-van while waiting in the pick-up line at preschool yesterday. The teachers stared into the first three mini-vans, trying to figure out which kid belonged in which van. All three mini-vans were navy blue.