Oh, yeah: I have a blog. It’s just that I have been submerged at the bottom of a sea of deadlines. And so I have been Writing Things for Other People (all lovely people, by the way). And when I am not doing that, I am Shuttling Children to Summer Activities. In particular, I am shuttling Rowan to soccer-related activities. Thus far, his summer seems to consist of soccer, with a side of soccer, with a wee soccer chaser and the occasional soccer nightcap. All washed down with some great big thirsty guzzling gulps of swimming pool. I’m working on a longer post about how weird it is to have a sporty kid when one is avowedly not sporty. But for now, I just wanted to note that all this shuttling of my son to and from soccer has left me seeing an awful lot of this kind of thing on various minivans around town:
And, at the risk of alienating any of you perfectly lovely folks who have such stickers on your minivans, they make me barf a bit in my mouth.
It must be something to do with their reeking of heteronormativity, practically an advertisement for Mom+Dad+boy+girl+dog+cat. Or the fact that they reduce “family” to a set of mix-and-match stickers, all of whom seemed to be Caucasian and happy. Or that anyone should care so much about just exactly who’s riding in your minivan, or that you’re so damn proud of it that you need to put it on your car window for everyone to see.
Or maybe it pisses me off that some kind of families can put those kinds of stickers on their cars and not worry about getting rear-ended.
As someone who drove a series of my parents’ dying cars for the majority of my driving life, maybe I’m just averse to the idea that your car should be a reflection of your personality or, say, your lifestyle choices (ask me about this later when I acquire my red MG, but for now let’s live in the present moment, shall we?). Maybe driving a 2000 Buick Regal for the past six years, and an aging Chrysler before that, and before that a Cadillac Sedan de Ville that cost me $60 a week to fill well before gas prices got crazy (but, now, there was a smooth ride) made me happy to dissociate my car from my personality. Or maybe it just was a raging advertisement for my own frugality (or my parents’ taste for big cars) — who knows? When we finally sucked it up and bought our own new vehicle, it was with some reservation that I finally stuck a Pride decal to our rear window. What if someone keys us? I thought. What if someone smashes the window, or gives me the finger as I drive? What if, what if… For those reasons alone, I decided to bite the bullet and affix the rainbow sticker, if only to prove myself wrong. If only because I have perhaps internalized the corporate messaging from LuluLemon that you should do things that scare you just a little bit.
And, of course, absolutely nothing has happened.
They do, for the record, have decals of little boys playing soccer. Or maybe they're little girl with short hair? Or maybe the long-haired figures on the site are actually boys with long hair, which is what I hear happens to boys when you don't cut their hair for a year and a half. I haven’t checked to see whether they have decals of little boys dressed in tutus, which is what Isaac wore to preschool this morning, along with a pair of Rachel’s heels. And, true, there’s nothing stopping me from ordering of decals of two mom figures and slapping them on the rear window of our car because I’m just so damn excited about our family. Apparently, you can get Star Wars decals as well: I could possibly see my way to having two Princess Leias wielding light sabers up there, along with two little R2-D2 droid figures, one in a tutu and one with a soccer ball (any takers?): it would be a way to sum up just about everything that my children have brought into my life, in all its complicated glory. Maybe if I still had the Caddy…
But really, I overshare about my family plenty already, right here on the Internet — do I really need to boil them down to an uncomplicated set of bland conformity on my vehicle? I’ve already got a basic-model car, no heated seats or six-CD changer here: but my household? Anything but.