We welcomed a new addition to our family last week.
It’s a minivan.
Yes, we caved. The Kopitzke clan is now cruising down the highway in that quintessential symbol of middle-age American parenthood. And we love it.
I’ve never bucked the initiation rites that come with having children. After our first daughter was born, I got the wash-and-wear haircut. My dry-clean-only wardrobe gave way to yoga pants. I abandoned trendy coffee shops for the mall play area, where friends and I parked our strollers to chat about breastfeeding and diaper rash. It comes with the territory.
But a minivan? That crosses a line.
Buying a minivan is like admitting once and for all that my carefree days are gone. That I’ve become one of those grown-ups passionately concerned about hauling groceries and multiple car seats. Cup holders matter to me. I’m a mom now. I’m old.
And there we have it—the ugly truth. I am afraid of growing older.
I don’t like those wrinkles in the mirror.
I can’t stand the thought of becoming uncool. Or worse, irrelevant.
Thankfully, that is not how God sees aging. To him, it’s beautiful.
“Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life” (Proverbs 16:31).
Chances are we all know someone who fits this description. I surely do. They’re my mentors—godly women who invest their experience in the next generation. These ladies aren’t just still in the game; they’re teaching the rest of us how to play. I love them. I want to be like them. I crave their intensity of faith, their insight, and their joy. If those are the qualities that blossom with age, then I have much to look forward to.
Think about it. Years are a gift from God. Not everybody gets to grow old.
So a minivan might peg me as 30-to-40-something. It might stereotype my route to swimming lessons, ballet class, or the school science fair. And it rightly suggests you’ll find Goldfish crackers crumbled in the seats and a pack of wet wipes in my glove compartment.
But do you know what else it says? Behind this wheel sits a little bit of hard-earned wisdom. Our family vehicle holds more than just passengers and kiddie cargo. It’s loaded with love. Lots and lots of love.
I am fiercely proud of that.
After we signed the papers and strapped in the kids, hubby and I slapped each other a high-five and drove off the lot. A sweet voice piped up from the bucket seat behind us. “Mom, why did we leave our car there?”
“Well, sweetheart, we traded that old car for this newer one,” I told our five-year-old, our sensitive child, our change-resister. “Isn’t that great? This minivan is ours now!”
God bless her precious heart, she burst into tears. “I liked our old car! I want to keep it!”
Ah, I get it, Lord. Younger is not better. You love me like that rusty car. Even when my hinges squeak and I’m leaking oil, you will still think I’m special. Leave it to a five-year-old to teach her old mom a basic truth. I held her hand all the way home.
Make way for the Kopitzke road boat, folks. This middle-age momma is wheeling toward the future unashamed—and a little closer to God with every new wrinkle.