From the minute I saw her, I knew we would be good friends.
‘She’ was my reliable daily companion never once complaining about the many errands she had to go each day- my shiny Toyota Sienna forest green minivan. Like most moms, I didn’t willingly switch from my snazzy compact car to a mom mobile.
I took my time.
But once my kids hit that pre-school age I knew I had to change my car.
I had more stuff to carry, more children to take on playmates and more places to go.
And that car took us everywhere!
With our kids safely buckled in their spacious car seats -yes, I was pretty anal about checking them each time; we used to explore L.A ‘s attractions every weekend.
Many times I even volunteered to take some of my kids’ friends along on play dates as long as their parents would bring their car seat with them.
In those days, my van resembled a play house filled with stuffed animals, Legos, and happy meal figurines.
Then came the road trips.
Our kids were reasonably ok about sitting in their car seats for 20-30 minutes and playing with toys, but I needed a sure way to occupy them for longer periods of time.
I went out and bought each kid a video player and a Gameboy.
Yes, it was somewhat expensive in those days (got grandma to chip in and split the costs) but driving for a few hours without listening to whining and bickering was priceless.
Looking back, it was that year that helped us bond as a family and encouraged us to start our decade-long era of family travel. Talk about precious family moments!
We ended up driving up and down the California Coast, visiting all twenty-one missions and exploring three of its magnificent national parks. As my kids grew older, we traveled with our Sienna to neighboring states and even across the country to Florida for my younger son’s college visits.
Last year I finally sold my Sienna to a young family that was planning its first road trip. After we signed the appropriate paperwork and gave them the car keys, I helped transfer their kids’ car seats to the van.
I know; old habits die-hard…
Want to learn about car seat safety -join #TMOM ‘s Monday, Sept 8th at 9 pm Eastern time Twitter Party or Wednesday, September 10th Google Plus Hangout at noon –2 pm Eastern time where you can get your specific safety questions and concerns answered.
Do you pledge to buckle up for life? Great! We’re giving away a brand new car seat to one lucky reader! Just leave a comment on the post below or our autistic globetrotting Facebook page to be entered in our raffle. The seat you receive will be based on your child’s needs. U.S. Residents only. The contest ends on Wednesday, September 10th at midnight. Good luck!
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Toyota Buckle Up for Life project