Once upon a time, we bought a Kia. It was right about the time we bought the Swan House, so there we were being grownups and spending cash money. This car was my first ever new car. Like 60 miles new, and then only because it was a floor model being used for the occasional test drive. I nicknamed it the Enterprise. We bought it because we could afford it. Because my dad was super happy with his Kia, which had at that point been around forever. Because we were homeowners now and needed to do things like bring home 15 bags of mulch along with a couple of blueberry bushes and a new trash can.
And we bought our car because we knew we were going to have kids.
I didn't know exactly what we'd be carting around when we'd become parents, but I knew from experience as a big sister with six younger siblings that kids come with plenty of accoutrements. I figured we'd need space. But I didn't want something huge, either. I'm not vain about my automobile, but I really didn't want something that screamed MOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMM ON BOOOOARD. The Kia Rondo, which was later replaced by the even cooler Soul (the car I would have bought if we'd been buying a couple years later), was just right. Not too small, not too big.
I'd like to tell you that I drove our car to the hospital when I went to labor with P., but I actually walked because it was a nice day. Tedd did drive me to the Birth Center when my water broke with Bo - I was sitting in the back seat on a whole mess of towels and still managed to make a mess. How gross is that?
Have a car long enough and things are gonna get real, I guess.
Anyway, that's my totally disgusting way of saying that I'm pretty grateful for our car, which has been with us through new home ownership, too many trips to New York to count, the birth of one baby, pregnancy loss and the many drives into Boston that followed, the birth of another baby, and now, life as a family of four.
What's it look like?
Here's baby P. back when she was just a wee thing. Notice how clean the interior is? You only get that kind of clean in a car that doesn't cart kids around. We were a little worried about installing her seat - since we had to do it quick because the NICU didn't warn us she'd be released - but the LATCH connectors made it easy.
A year and a half later, and P. finally outgrew her infant seat. Her big girl seat? Massive. Still fit just fine, though we were happy to eventually switch to a more streamlined toddler car seat. The interior? Not quite so clean with a toddler climbing around inside.
And this is now. Remember when we switched P. from rear facing to forward facing? She was four, which I understand is a lot older than most kids whose parents make the change. She was so excited to be able to stretch her legs out... and kick the driver's seat.You don't even want to see the upholstery at this point.
These days we're rocking the double car seats in the back and we bring a pretty massive double stroller everywhere we go, too. We still go to New York and then we're carting around luggage and a port-a-crib that feels anything but portable when you see how big it is. Five years into owning our Kia, our car has seen us through pretty much every transition a couple of adults can make in their 20s and 30s, more trips to the garden store for mulch than I care to mention, even more blueberry bushes, and my habit of picking up furniture and ladders from the side of the road. It may not be as clean as it once was...
But hey, we have kids. And for a family car, it still looks dang good.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.