No Man is a Minivan

For Mothers' Day I'll be hauling my youngest's belongings back home from the dorm. It seems fitting, somehow. When this son was born, the two of us came home from the hospital on Mothers' Day. Now he's nineteen, and I don't need the diaper bag and zinc oxide any more. He won't fit in the stroller. In fact, if I take another son along to help with the toting and carrying down three flights of dorm stairs, I can't fit all the belongings and two sons into my poor, suspension-challenged Buick. And dang, I do hate it when important or expensive parts of the Buick fall off while I'm driving down the highway!

On another front, a friend's old spring-operated garage door opener crashed this week, narrowly missing both her and her car. Although I sometimes miss having a garage, I never miss the headaches of repairing garage doors. In my experience, garage doors only break when your husband is out of the country and you have twenty-six dollars to your name.

Shortly after I got rid of the husband and the garage door, but before I got rid of the Mazda minivan, I eked out part of my living teaching kindergarten readiness classes at the local rec center. The students were an incredible assortment. I taught twins, triplets, autistic kids, deaf kids, kids who were terrified of everything, kids who brought popsicles in their lunchboxes, kids who spoke no English, kids who took the baby dolls hostage, kids who acted out Lamaze labor and delivery, and a few kids who were ready to sit on their own chairs, listen to stories, learn to use scissors, and play well with others.

A favorite memory is of twin boys who spoke no English at the beginning. Their favorite toy was the Fisher Price house with all the little people, furniture, cars, and garage. Every week I listened to them converse in a combination of their language and twinspeak babbling. After many weeks I suddenly realized they were speaking English. They were saying, "mee-nee vahn," "ga-hadj door," "uppan-down." Minivan, garage door, up and down!

Thank heaven I have a whole team of brains assisting me! My friends helped me see the automotive options for the upcoming dorm retrieval trip. I could rent a bigger vehicle! We will be conducting the special ops mission in a rented Chrysler Town & Country mee-nee vahn. There may be some moments of sibling rivalry uppan-down as my sons begin to forge an almost-adult relationship of friendly equals. At least the Buick will stay out of the mechanic's ga-hadj.

No man is an island
No man stands alone
Each man's joy is joy to me
Each man's grief is my own

And remember, no mom is an island, either. Each son needs to phone!

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