Approximately two hours of my average day are spent in the car—that is, my minivan, dubbed the Red Dragon when we brought it into our family almost seven years ago.
The van makes a cameo in many of my stories (like this one just the other day). It’s where the conversations happen, where the singing happens, where my children still occasionally nap, and where they like to ask hard questions about life and faith while I’m trying to deliver them safely to our next destination. Being in the Red Dragon brings out the best and the worst in all of us, drivers and passengers.
It’s red (obviously) with comfy gray fabric seats, manual sliding doors that require a good tug to open, plenty of space, nowhere to plug in a phone for music, and a CD player that works sixty percent of the time.
A friend jokingly asked us the other day whether we died inside a little when we bought it, and we laughed. Minivans are not for everyone.
But I remember well the days of sharing one car, which by God’s grace had been generously given to us. We’d had a good streak of not being able to keep two vehicles functioning simultaneously. Often Dan took the car to work and I stayed home with Ev. It’s just what we did.
When we were finally able to purchase a second car, I was beside myself with excitement. I remember test-driving used vans with Ev, just a tiny toddler then, in the backseat. I imagined carpools and field trips and wondered what it would look like full of more blonde kids someday.
She would be my only passenger for a few more years, and at times I would wonder whether we’d assumed too much about our future family. I’ll never forget the joy and tears when I looked in the rearview mirror at my two sister-passengers for the very first time.
So, as frustrated as I get when the door sticks at car line or the dash display reads NO DISC when I know for a fact Moana is in there, I feel a certain affinity for the Red Dragon.
Our van does its job. It gets us to and from. Its quirks are as endearing as they are embarrassing. It’s our safe place, our quality-time-mobile. It’s exactly what we need; it’s more than we need. And during those two hours a day I spend driving it around, it is my faithful reminder of God’s provision for our family.
I’m wrapping up a month-long series on taking note of the beautiful in the mundane. Catch up on the rest here!