We had a bone of contention in our marriage for about a decade.

I wanted a minivan and I wanted one with all my heart and soul and mind.

My husband felt like a minivan would be the stamp of death upon his heart and soul and mind.

And so it went for years and years.

Two years ago I started a new job and said, “I’m getting a van, good sir.” My good sir saw the fire in my eyes and the actual money from my paycheck and finally gave in. Also, it helped that our car at the time was a pitiful wreck, full of melted crayons and smashed goldfish crackers and a transmission that was about to die.

We found the perfect van for our family and budget and I gloried in it for two years. I put the seats down and hauled home furniture. I put the seats up and hauled around people. We took it on vacation and stuffed it full of all manner of junk.

grace-minivan-marriage

 

But after some time, I had more trouble than I cared to admit. I was afraid to back it out of the garage because the dang van is a bit too wide and I knew I was running the real risk of ripping off a mirror. One day, while carefully monitoring the mirror, I got too close to the lawn mower and ran that over instead.

It’s almost fine. Barely crushed at all.

We will not discuss how I now park waaaaay far out in the store parking lots, simply because I’m not skilled enough to fit it into narrow spaces next to other cars.

And lately I find myself alone in a huge, room sized vehicle. The kids are in school and are far too old for car seats and strollers and all the other things that make minivans delightful. I mean, I guess I could have a few more kids and then fill the minivan back up, but I don’t think that’s the real solution I’m looking for, here.

And so, I looked my husband in the eye and said, “It’s time to sell this thing.”

To his everlasting credit, he didn’t laugh at me. He didn’t smirk, or giggle, or even say I told you so.

He did, however, immediately pull up the car listings on the internet and start looking for a new vehicle.

This whole example feels a little silly, but it’s a beautiful thing to offer grace to a spouse. To give in and let her have the thing she’s wanted for a long time, no matter how much you hate it.

To humbly admit to him that the thing you wanted for so long isn’t as glorious as you thought it would be.

To not mock her when she says she’s actually like to drive the ancient Corolla instead of the roomy van.

To not say a single word about the wobbly wheel on the crushed lawnmower, even.

Grace, minivans, marriage.

Amen.

 

9 Comments on Of grace, and minivans, and marriage

  1. David
    May 14, 2016 at 11:44 am (1 year ago)

    I love the title Jessie – and how Eric didn’t smirk or say he told you so! Fortunately Marilyn is happy with her Ford Focus, which is just as well given that everything is smaller over here – roads, parking spaces, garages, etc. But as I recall parking spaces and garages are massive in America? Obviously not massive enough.

    I would miss not having a larger car for the times that we need it – going to the tip, moving furniture, moving grown up children and their furniture, going on holiday, etc. But in time I am sure we will end up like my parents … part of the Honda Jazz club. With automatic transmission.

  2. tammy @ faithhopelovefood.com
    May 14, 2016 at 12:37 pm (1 year ago)

    I understand… I wanted a mini van and now that my kids are older…I am so over the mini van!!!

  3. Jessie Clemence
    May 14, 2016 at 9:05 pm (1 year ago)

    Some of our neighbors have vehicles even larger than the van– massive SUVs. I have zero idea how they fit them in the garage!

  4. Jessie Clemence
    May 14, 2016 at 9:06 pm (1 year ago)

    I’ve talked to two other mothers recently who have said the same thing. It’s time to move the vans along to the younger mothers who have all that baby gear to lug around.

  5. memyselfandkids.com
    May 17, 2016 at 7:42 pm (1 year ago)

    I’m not into minivans either. It feels like everyone has them – or an equivalent – around here though.
    I hope you find something else that suits you.

  6. Jessie Clemence
    May 18, 2016 at 1:34 pm (1 year ago)

    I have. Can you please lend me $45,000 for the BMW I want? Thank you. Thank you verrrrrrrry much.

  7. memyselfandkids.com
    May 18, 2016 at 10:27 pm (1 year ago)

    Sure. I’ll do that right after I replace my 11-year-old car.

  8. Kristen E
    May 19, 2016 at 9:13 pm (1 year ago)

    Awwwwww! Poor minivan!
    I love our minivan (and it’s faults that come with its age), but my husband gets the luxury of driving it. 1. He doesn’t fit well in our car – imagine it: he doesn’t like hitting his head when he gets in and out of a vehicle. 2. I drive more, so I have the more fuel efficient vehicle. 3. He is the one typically hauling child and/or music gear. Therefore, I am left feeling like my car is so light-weight that it is going all over the road while I am trying to convince it to drive straight.

  9. Jessie Clemence
    May 21, 2016 at 2:14 pm (1 year ago)

    That’s true, the van does have a nice feel on the road. Eric claims it feels heavy and fat and slow, but it doesn’t bounce around like the little cars!