She’s more than just a mom-mobile.
We are putting our beloved Honda Odyssey up for sale. It’s going to sit on the “lemon lot” at Ramstein Air Base hoping to find a new owner. It’s a sad day for us, but an inevitable one. We have purchased a fancy European car after being here two years. It’s not without a few tears and a bit of regret that we must pass our amazing family mobile to another deserving military family overseas. Nearly ten years ago we purchased it, I cried then, too.
I cried because I never thought nor wanted a mini van. It represented everything that I didn’t want to be – complacent in my new identity of a stay at home mom. When I went to register it, I tried to purchase personalized plates. I had picked out “ICAVED” for my new mini van plates. However, I was disappointed and secretly delighted when “ICAVED” was already taken – it was also registered to a mini van owner. I liked the owner immediately.
After a few miles and a few years, I grew to love her. It’s “her” because she has taken care of us for almost a decade. She’s safe, intuitive, dependable, unassumingly, unbothered by style and design of others, confident in her own identity and responsibility – and strangely nurturing.
Our Odyssey, nicknamed “Beluga”, has traveled through 13 States and seven countries and six military installations. She’s carried safely and reliably two children from birth through 4th grade. From the hospital to PTA meetings, she’s been there.
Every PCS, family vacation or road trip, she’s never let us down. From learning their ABC’s to viewing every Disney movie possible (multiple times), our DVD player has kept the adults calm through heavy traffic, long trips and the endless days of carpool. She’s driven through snowstorms, heavy rain and black ice without flinching. She’s been stuck in staus in Germany and traffic jams on the beltway. We’ve driven her to see the battles in Bastogne, ranches in Texas and the beaches in Virginia. Airshows, playgrounds, ER visits, managing deployments and IKEA trips – she made sure we got there safe. Our Odyssey has parked in six driveways we’ve called home.
She’s driven to the White House and to out-houses in the woods. She’s baked in the sun in Texas, managed the humidity in Alabama and endured the polar vortex of Ohio winters. She’s found rest stops and parks in every state she crossed. She can slide into any parking space. The Beluga has mastered the German parking spots like a boss with the super cool rear-view camera. Sure, there are a few dings on the doors, but that shows she’s not afraid to tackle these German parking garages and narrow spots.
She took on 100k miles like I took on 40 – Bring it. Our mini van has carried baby strollers, golf clubs, tennis bags, swim gear, BBQs, massive commissary runs, lawnmowers, soccer balls, bikes, luggage, IKEA boxes, multiple DITY moves and large animals – she always makes room for our things without complaint. It seats eight if needed – and we always needed it because we were the fun car to drive in. Like a patient parent, she’s waited for us at airports, theme parks and ports of calls for us to return. She’s braved crossing the ocean and holds her on own on the German autobahn without fail. She’s been a place for babies to nap, a place to change, a safe place, a workplace, a quiet place and place for a mom to lip sync like a rock star.
Our mom-mobile has been nothing short of amazing and dependable in all the right ways. We’ve changed a battery or two, fixed the sliding door and changed the windshield….but that’s about it. We are sad to have to say goodbye to the other member of our family, but it’s time to move on to the next stage of our lives, I hope the new owner loves her like we did.
Beluga was the best car aka family member we’ve even known. Thank you for taking care of our military family for so many years. Go on, do well and continue to love your next family.