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What Are The Three Minivan Stages of Life

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An older, wiser friend once told me that as adults, we go through three stages. We begin thinking, “I will NEVER drive a minivan.” A couple of kids later we find ourselves entrenched in the second stage where we are certain to proclaim: “I couldn’t survive without my minivan.” And eventually, we end up in the “I can’t believe I ever drove a minivan” stage.


Why I Ended Up Driving A Minivan

I remember when I transitioned from my sports car to my sedan, thinking that I had made the world’s greatest compromise for my child.

Two years later, after battling with child safety seats, stooped over to reach across my child to buckle him in, and a few incidents of cramming adults in the back seat with the car seat, I realized with the birth of my second child that it was already time for a size upgrade.

Yes, I could have opted for a station wagon or SUV. Those of us who are firmly in stage two though have visions of children throwing open their car doors with wild abandon, leaving impressive dents (or at a minimum large scratches) on the car door parked beside you.

Plus, even though I needed a bigger vehicle, I didn’t want to feel like I was driving one, and I definitely didn’t want to park one, so the car-like minivan driving experience was a big plus for me over the truck-like SUVs.

Chrysler Town & Country Minivan

With four children ranging in age from 6 to 16, each with friends, sports, and other activities, I am firmly immersed in stage two.

It isn’t hard to imagine stage three since feeding and providing for four kids, not to mention planning and saving for college expenses, has me acutely aware of gas prices and fuel efficiency.

Still, I am shamelessly in love with my Chrysler Town & Country minivan because for right now, it is the perfect car for me.

It seats seven people so my family of six fits comfortably and we don’t have to take two separate cars to get somewhere together.

The stow-and-go seating lets me easily transform the back of the van into a flat surface when I need to buy a new piece of furniture, wood for a project my husband is working on, or supplies and food for the PTO-sponsored teacher breakfast I’ve offered to run.

When the storage isn’t being used to stow the seats, it’s great for keeping our emergency supplies, reusable shopping bags, and travel games out of sight but accessible.

For long trips that require several suitcases, the luggage rack atop the minivan provides an easy way to carry all of our luggage without sacrificing leg room and a spot for the dog inside the vehicle.

Also, clearly someone at Chrysler has taken a long car trip with children because the Town & Country comes equipped with things you might not even realize you need. The built-in video screens, rear audio and power outlets for headphones and gaming equipment, and satellite TV with strictly children’s programming (and wireless headphones!) have saved my sanity more than once on our annual cross-country travels.

Someday I may shake my head in pity at some young mother loading her children and groceries into her minivan as I slip my agile compact car into a narrow parking spot. Or perhaps the moment will be bittersweet because I will be nostalgic over the days when my children were young and living at home. Either way, I plan to enjoy stage two for as long as I am in it, especially if minivan manufacturers continue to make them as well suited to my life as they do now.

1 thought on “What Are The Three Minivan Stages of Life”

  1. Minivan’s are very nice and come with lots of features that makes them attractive and fun to drive.


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