Lovin’ that Minivan
The thing is, I never really thought of myself as a roof rack or minivan kind of a gal. I had always pictured myself more as a sporty convertible owner. However, many years ago, when my daughters were about three years old, that changed. I’m telling you about this today, 20 years later, because some of my colleagues were recently laughing at me because they found out I still...happily!...drive a minivan.
It didn’t take me long after my daughters were born to realize that, whether we were traveling to the grocery store or taking family vacations, Amme and Emma needed stuff. Not some stuff. A lot of stuff. And that precipitated my sudden interest in vehicles with roof racks and especially minivans with roof racks.
This wasn’t just about the stuff. It was also about maintaining peace in the family. I learned the value of this early! My dad always drove a vehicle that had a roof rack. It’s not that we always used the roof rack for its intended purpose. Sometimes, it just served as encouragement to us kids. Dad said it would make a comfy seat for the most annoying child. (To clarify, the most annoying child award typically went to my older brother or my younger sister. Trust me.)
Even though my children are now adults, living on their own and driving their own vehicles (no roof racks), there are times when their independence terrifies me. Can I trust that they are being safe?... and making responsible decisions?... and changing the oil every 3,000-5,000 miles in their cars? What if they need me and I’m not able to get to them right away? What if they need me and they don’t let me know? And do they have all the stuff they need?
They are no longer dependent on me to get them around, but when they do need to move, I’m still equipped--minivan to the rescue!
Our lives have changed so dramatically in the last six months, but some things never change. Our students come to ISU with stuff. Some of their stuff is material (computers, TVs, books). Some of their stuff is personal (values, family dynamics, emotions). They have parents who worry about them and their well being.
And our job is to help our students get wherever they’re going.
We have a lot of new stuff in the vehicle this year--worries about Covid, face coverings, and plexiglass, endless hours on Zoom and more--but our responsibility hasn’t changed. It’s still our job to help our students find the room they need to feel comfortable, experience their ride in this “vehicle” in a positive way, and make the trip safely to their (graduation) destinations.
Let’s do that. Let’s take the time to get to know our students...and their stuff! Let’s learn their names, hear about what matters to them, and do everything we can to make this one of the best drives of their lives!