I really enjoyed writing the Diverteds and apparently there are a few people out there who enjoyed reading them. So, back by popular demand...and the need to have a quiet hobby that I can do while my kids nap, Diverted is back. Given that we have since moved back to the US from London, I've named these blogs Rediverted. ...and the name Diverted was taken. rats.
So where to start? It's been 10 months since we moved back. In that time, we've bought a house, had a baby and traded in our sedan for a mini van. Our house is a diamond in the rough-very rough. The electricians, plumbers and builders all agree that it has "good bones" though they tell us that only after they stop laughing at the state of whatever it is that needs fixing. I have not enjoyed acting as contractor and living on a construction site while dealing with a newborn. Somehow, we survived 6 months without a kitchen. Somehow, sleep deprivation seemed more manageable this time around. And somehow, we have been able to hold our heads up high when we tell people we live in New Jersey.
I can't, however, come to terms with the fact that I own a mini van. I swore I would never own a mini van, but all our friends knew better. They smiled knowingly and waited patiently for the day when we confessed that we caved. There is nothing sexy or sporty or fun about a mini van. I can not get excited about 72 cup holders or cargo space large enough to transport farm equipment. And what good is a 6 CD stereo when it's filled with toddler music and irritating enough to drive any adult completely mad? I blame the car seat industry for forcing me to drive this monstrosity. Car seats are enormous, and you have to keep kids in a seat or a booster until they're 23...or can drive their own cars. Gone are the good old days when we all piled into the car and sat wherever and however and on top of whomever we liked.
It seems to be the required car for all parents in Essex county. We all have a Honda Odyssey. I mean, when I drop Asher off at school, I actually have trouble finding my car after the 5 minutes it takes to bring him to class because the lot is filled with Honda Odysseys. Looking at the roads out here is like looking at the baggage carousel at the airport. You try to find your black wheely bag amongst a sea of black wheely bags. You might tie a ribbon on the handle or put a sticker on it so you can identify your black wheely bag. You might put a bumper sticker on your Odyssey that says Visualize whirled peas or Jesus is coming, look busy. I considered getting a ruby red mini van to be a little different. My friends tell me that only lesbians and black people drive red mini vans. Not wanting to fulfill a stereotype, we went with a metallic shade of a non-identifiable color.
A note about word choice. After 7 years in the UK, I do not say African American. Most black people in the UK are not American. Furthermore, the Brits pride themselves on being politically incorrect. When I swore my allegiance to the Queen, I swore that I would always be just as insensitive and rude as my fellow Brits. To be honest, I'm way behind on what is considered politically correct these days. And I say this to apologize ahead of time for anything that I might say that comes from a good place but sounds not-so-nice. Where was I? Oh yes, blacks & lesbos in red vans.
I do need to get over my internalized vanophobia. It is a very practical car, and I don't know where I'd be without the satellite navigation-literally. Clearly, the van is just a symbol of my life as a mother in suburbia. As we settle in and find our groove, I may come to embrace the van and all that it represents. But until then, I'm a reluctant housewife. And if you don't want to get hurt, you won't ask me if we're getting a dog.