Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Goodbye, Hunca Munca

If anyone has ever read Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Two Bad Mice, then you may have some inkling of what I'm talking about. Hunca Munca the mouse and her husband, Tom Thumb, decide to squat in a dollhouse. When the food turns out to be fake, they trash the place in a fit of pique. "But Hunca Munca had a frugal mind" as I always recall my mom reading.

What does this have to do with anything? Well, like Hunca Munca, our old Renault Clio was small and frugal. Brilliant fuel economy, but very tiny...especially with our ever expanding family. (No, this isn't a hint: I'm not pregnant.) So, spurred on in our timing by the need to pass the car along to one of my brothers-in-law, the Husband and I have bought some new wheels. A people carrier. A Vauxhall Zafira, actually. I vote we call it the Swagger Wagon. We're rocking it hella deep in the Parent Hood, now.

from this... this. (via)
Seriously, though, we feel like proper adults now with our tiny minivan. Not to mention that this purchase, though frugal and well-researched, is the most money either of us have dropped on a single item in our lives. It's also the first car either of us have bought on our own...rather than being gifted one by our parents. Our Clio, the Husband's old red whatever-it-was, my darling gold Ford Escort estate (that was my baby): all cars we drove thanks to the generosity and good-planning of our parents.

So why go from a tiny hatchback to a 7-seater? To have room to store the stroller that can't live in our house. To eventually fit 2 kids AND a week's shopping without holding it on our laps. To take trips with friends. To be able to see out the back window when we pack to spend Christmas with the in-laws. To comfortably shuttle visiting family to and from the airport with whatever luggage they want to bring. To get the most space possible out of the increase in running costs.

Like Obi-Wan Kenobi said to Luke Skywalker, I've taken my first steps into a larger world. A world that will include mortgages, field trips, music lessons, babysitters, date nights, and family vacations. Sure, it's buying a used car. But on the other hand, it's also beginning to feel even more like an honest-to-goodness adult. And that's pretty nifty.

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