I love my minivan! That’s right. It’s a phrase I never thought I’d utter while playing football, wearing my over-sized hoop earrings, getting tattooed and partying in college. Some might even say loving a minivan is like waving the white flag. I have to disagree. This ride is amazing. I could write about it for days…I digress. Yes, this post is about my healthy love for a grocery getter on the surface, but it’s more about a stage of life.
When I look back at my teens and early twenty’s, there’s not much else I wanted
more than to be a “cool” guy. I was playing ball, then it was onto riding my Harley and working for a tobacco company, both of which were a little edgy. But as time has gone on, the want and need to be cool has waned a bit. Sure, everyone wants to be cool in their own way. It may be to impress friends on Facebook or Snapchat, attract that guy or girl you’ve been trying to date, or even fit in with a group of new people. It may even be just to appease the inner narcissist we have down deep in all of us.
I can honestly say (this is important, so pay attention), the only people I want to think I’m cool at this stage in my life live in my home with me. Interestingly, two of them are under three years of age and think I’m the coolest person on the planet. The other one is in her mid-thirties and I’ll be trying to get her to think I’m cool until I die. Crack on my mini all you want. Unless you can get my kids to do the same, it won’t have much impact.
When I walk in the door each evening from work, it doesn’t matter how my day went or what I have to do after they go to bed, James and Stella smile as hard as they can and can’t get enough of their papa. My wife tends to roll her eyes every time I attempt to be cool, but she’s used to me at this point.
Stages in life are a tricky thing. They sneak up on us and then are gone in a flash. I often hear college students say, “I can’t wait to get out of school and start making money.” I also hear some young parents say things like, “Once we get through these early years, we’ll be in the clear.” Those comments make me cringe because every stage in life is going to come and go before we know it. I don’t know one person my parent’s age that hasn’t told me to “cherish these times, because you can’t get them back.” I know I can’t stop the clock and I’m all for change, but there are times I wish I could slow things down.
I’m not naive. I realize a time will come that my kids won’t think I’m the coolest person on Earth and the minivan may not be my ride of choice. When that point comes I’ll be at a different stage in my life. Who knows? The inner narcissist may take over and I might even jump on that Harley again. I guess that’s how the mid-life crisis came to be. For the time being, I’m going to focus on being as cool as I can for my kids as long as they think I am. And if you’re not sold on the minivan, come visit me in the burbs….another phrase I never thought I’d say. 🙂