Silver Town and Country Minivan

{how the hell did that get there?}


Yesterday, I opened the garage door and was flabbergasted to see a minivan parked inside. Utterly shocked. I shut the door quickly, hoping it would magically disappear. It did not. Turns out the giant silver bullet is mine.


This happens every few weeks: moments where I’m stunned to realize my house has been taken over by toys, I’m wearing the same thing I did the day before, there’s a minivan parked in my garage and two kids who look vaguely like me keep calling me “mom.” It usually only lasts a few seconds, but it feels like I’ve been plunked right into a life I don’t recognize and never planned on.


Oh, please tell me this happens to you, too.


I vividly remember standing in my boss’s office about a dozen years ago, telling myself I would never wind up like him. He had three young kids, hadn’t been to a movie with his wife in ages, and couldn’t even be persuaded to attend an after-work happy hour {“too many family commitments, blah-blah-blah”}. I remember him saying someday I would understand. I wholeheartedly doubted it. At the time, I was on a different plane to a different city most weeks, creating PR events and babysitting celebrity spokespeople. Life was good…and fun…and easy…and I figured someday I would have a family, too – just not the kind that takes over your life and keeps you from going to happy hours. And no way, no how would I ever own a mom-mobile.


Fast forward to 2012 and looky here: I’m knee-deep in that life I was once so sure I’d loathe. Every now and then, I have a multi-second freak-out, like yesterday’s “oh-my-god-i-have-a-minivan?” moment. I also survived yesterday’s “take that fruit snack out of your nose” moment, several “stop hitting your brother” moments and approximately 127 opportunities to say, “do you have to go potty?”


But I also had a great big a-ha moment. Just after making a bagel-and-cheese-and-chocolate-milk lunch for Tru, I was invited to a last-minute happy hour. With grown-ups I like and big girl drinks and no one wiping their mouth on my sleeve.


But I said no.


I could have gone – it was on the one night of the week when nothing was scheduled {no basketball, no choir, no play dates}. But I knew in an instant that I’d rather be at home, chilling with my family, than out on the town. I didn’t want to miss bedtime stories, pajama snuggles or sharing favorite parts of our day. Right then and there, I realized someday had arrived: the day my boss predicted, when I would finally understand why he steered clear of happy hour, why he was constantly carpooling kids from here to there, why date nights took a backseat to…well, everything else.


This is my someday…and it’s nothing like I’d planned. It’s way better.