The Last Piece of Me

I remember the day we realized that my luxury SUV wasn’t going to comfortably accommodate our growing family anymore. B (our son) was 6, Sister was 3 and Willie J—our baby boy—was a newborn. With two fixed car seats, and no way to put them side-by-side, B was forced to get to the third row jump seats through the large rear door—some people may call it the trunk. It wasn’t until Willie J was two weeks old that it was brought to our attention that putting B on the 3rd row—via the large rear door—wasn’t acceptable.

It was a Friday. Sister, Willie J and I were in line to pick B up from school as usual. After 20 minutes of waiting and allowing Sister, who was newly potty trained, to tinkle in a spare diaper I found in the console, we made our way to the front of the line. Once there, the principal waved us to park over to the side. She approached my window.

“Brooke, those of us involved with the afternoon car rider line are a little concerned with putting B in the trunk. I was wondering if it wasn’t time to get a mini van.” I gasped at the thought. Me, driving a mini van—I don’t think so! They loaded B in the back and we drove away while B filled me in on the conversations he just overheard.

“Mom, the teachers were saying that you need to ‘stop holding on to the Good Ole Days and face the fact that you’re a mother of 3,’” he said with no prompting. I thought, Ouch! That hurts! I’m not holding on to the past, I just feel like my car is the last bit of the old me I still have. If I give that up, the former Brooke will be dead forever.

A few days later, I found myself at the Honda dealership looking at mini vans against my will. My husband overly exaggerated every well thought through detail of the family friendly vehicle. I wasn’t sure who was trying to sell me on the vehicle more—Mr. Right or the car salesman. I held my ground until I needed a room to nurse Willie J. It was then that I inadvertenly revealed my frustration with nursing and the salesman saw my weakness—the desire for convenience.

“Did I mention that infants who are needing to be fed can stay in their rear facing car seat while (with a touch of a button) being moved between the two front row seats for easy feeding—never stopping the car or playing musical chairs?” It was like angels singing. Did he say we didn’t have to stop the car to feed the baby? Also, as an option with the mini van we offer a car charger that powers almost all major name brand breast pumps. Once my head stopped reeling from the ease—we were headed home in our new Odyssey.

Too excited over our new purchase, I realized I didn’t even have a chance to say goodbye to the last piece of me. I looked at Mr. Right driving with all three kids comfortably in their seats (no one in the trunk). It was then that I understood that who I am now is way better than who I was and totally worth letting go of.

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