For the Love of a Minivan

I have a weird sort of pride in my dented minivan. His name is Jack like many a good hero--Jack Ryan, Jack Bauer, and Jack Sparrow to name a few. Also, when my teenagers rip on the vehicle I have driven for over nine years, I can say, "You don't know Jack."

I could have gotten a newer vehicle before now, but we decided to buy a Harley instead. It's kind of like being a double agent. I don't mind letting everyone think I'm a poor suburban mom during the week because, on the weekend, I can pull on my boots, swing a leg over the saddle, and fly through the mountains of Idaho.

Jack is also good for me. Though I'm not practical at all, he is. I can flip his seats to load in kids or groceries or knee carts for our many ankle sprains. When the kids used to pick on each other, I could separate them into different quadrants. I can park backwards at the drive-in, open the hatch, and watch movies from the comfort of sleeping bags. And once, after my husband's third Achilles surgery in Salt Lake City, we added a mattress for Jim to sleep on as I drove back to Boise.

Jack has been really good to me. I mean, Jim's gorgeous truck blew an engine only a few years in, but my old mommy-mobile just keeps running despite the way he's taken a beating. We fixed him the time he slid on ice and rear ended a truck, but he still has his scars from the times I backed into a pole, side-swiped a sign, and hit a barn. Yes, I can hit the broad side of a barn. (Don't ask.)

Jack was also there for me through my divorce. I lost a lot, but Jack stayed by my side. He is a reminder that I am a survivor. When I had to go down to the bank and refinance him in my name alone, the awesome ladies at the credit union worked with my small income so that I could afford payments. Because of this, it took a lot longer to pay Jack off than it should have, but pay him off I did.

I'm looking at other cars now and kind of feeling like a traitor. Jack is going to be passed down to my children who won't appreciate him the way I have. Thus, I've decided to honor him in my next book.

In Finding Love in Eureka, Genevieve Wilson not only drives a dented minivan, but she loves her dented minivan. So much so that the hero can't help wishing he was loved like a dented minivan--loved despite his flaws and uncoolness. Isn't that how we all want to be loved?

So this is for all you other soccer moms who have pride in your vehicle. Let's enjoy the ride, shall we?


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