Monday, November 10, 2014

Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?

Ever have a completely mundane conversation turn into a deep one?

We just had one of those as we looked at tires online. My tires have needed replacing for a while, and now we can't procrastinate any longer. Winter is coming, and in New England, you need some quality tires to keep moving and safe on the snow and ice.

Anyway, Adam and I started pricing out some tires online. There are plenty of choices. You don't want to go super cheap, but at the same time, it's not like I'm driving a race car.

As we compared one set of all-weather tires to another, Adam asked the question,

"How long do you think we're keeping this car? Three years? Five years?"

It's a valid question.

We bought my car in the summer of 2008, before kids. We weren't positive what our family plans would be yet, but we did know that my car would be the "family" car. We planned to keep this car until we didn't fit comfortably in it anymore.

Just in the interest of understanding the story, Adam has had THREE different cars in this time period. He leased for a while, and ultimately bought the last car when the lease was up. So the next time we car shop, it WILL be for me.

Two kids fit in the car, along with a trunk full of stuff, but there are times it's a tight fit. We can't take anyone else with us. When my sister and I take the girls out, we need to take both cars in order to fit three kids in car seats. The fact that five people need to take two cars seems ridiculous, but that's how it goes. There are times when I'd love to offer to help a friend out by carpooling, but we just can't do it in this car. And although the trunk is roomy, we've found it fills up pretty quickly when we're packing for all four of us. Adam knows that I'm lusting after a minivan, and we've talked about what my next car will be and what my ideal car would have.

I'm sure some of you just read that I'm lusting after a minivan and shook your heads. Shut up. Minivans are so tricked out these days I can't help but want the under seat storage and built in amenities. 

But can I see myself saying goodbye to my car?

That was the car that brought both babies home from the hospital.

That car drove us to almost every family event.

That car has seen pretty much every bodily fluid available spilled in the backseat in some way.

That car has been a portable office. A mini entertainment center. A restroom for potty trainers. A place to nap. A storage space. A place to share a meal.

We've talked. We've sung. We've laughed. We've had meltdowns.

That car has seen the girls grow up from tiny babies experiencing their very first car ride to two little girls sitting side by side, passing crayons back and forth and arguing over which Kidz Bop song they want to hear.

That car has a backseat covered in goldfish crumbs and stickers and dents from car seats. It always needs cleaning. It always needs vacuuming. It always feels like a toddler isn't too far away, with sticky hands and toys to drop. It might not be a minivan, but one glance and you know it's a "mom car".

But can I picture myself just trading it in?

Where will we be in five years? Will my car be up for a road trip for a vacation, to an event for the girls, to a conference? Will I still want room to carpool? Will our family still fit? Will this car still be my mom-mobile? Or will I want something else? Something bigger? Smaller? How can I possibly decide right now what the future holds for us? Do I need to know right now what I want to be driving five years from now?

It's a good thing Adam didn't let this slow us down. We decided my car, assuming it keeps running, will last us at least another few years. There's no pressing need to start making decisions. We bought some tires and I'm getting them mounted and balanced tomorrow.

And let's hope that when the time comes to put something new and shiny in our garage, that we'll know the right decision to make for the next stage in life.

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