My minivan has met the end of its useful life in our family. It was a sad decision; I loved that car. My children went from car seats to ipods in it; we went around town and across the country in that van.
Part of me wishes that the childhoods it saw could go on forever; part of me knows that it's time to move on to the next phase in our lives. With our youngest approaching 18, my days of driving a van full of kids is over. No more daily trips to Karate, play dates, drama, music, or sports; it's been awhile, actually, but the minivan and I remember what it feels like to have kids kicking the seat backs.
It was a good car; it was a good part of my life. But it's important to know when it's time to move forward, and it is most definitely time. A brand new Hyundai Elantra is sitting in our garage; we picked it up yesterday in a town about 100 miles north of us, and I drove it home. It's a dark blue sedan; it's small and cute, and, compared to a minivan, it's a little bit sporty. It turns on a dime, has pretty good acceleration for its size, and goes a long way on a little bit of gas.
I think I'm going to like this next phase of my life.