Back in those naïve, carefree days before I had children, there were a few things I looked at with, I don’t know, a certain sense of ‘great for them, never for me’. New build houses were one of them. Allotments were another. But right at the top of the list, an absolute non-negotiable that I would never succumb to, was a people carrier.
As I grew older, first of all I watched our neighbours start to trade in their little cars for these beasts. Neighbours across the road got one in anticipation of having a baby. Three doors down got one when their first born arrived. And then, friends of friends started trading up in size. There were a core group of us though, including me and my husband, that would NEVER make such a ridiculous purchase. How completely uncool. Surely there were so many other options for a family car that didn’t involve buying a minivan?
And then I had a baby. And decided not to return to work. To achieve this we had to become a one car family so traded in both of our cars for a shared car….so what did we choose? An estate of course! To fit the dog in the boot and with plenty of room for luggage. DEFINITELY not a people carrier because we absolutely were never going to become THAT uncool.
And then another baby. And RIP to our beautiful Labrador, Henry. And…..I had a c section…and we lived on a huge hill…and the parking was far way from the house…..and wouldn’t it be nice if when we got to the car I didn’t have to BEND so much every time (I’m very tall). My husband at this point was waiting for a company car so had to choose a hire car from his work, and we had a looooong drive to Cornwall coming up and so we thought we might just hire a people carrier……..and, and, and that was when I saw how completely ridiculous we had been.
The height, the room, the visibility, the flexibility – it was honestly the easiest drive with kids we had ever done. Fast forward a couple of months when an iffy battery and electronics on the estate annoyed us one too many times and we knew it was time to make the leap. We had changed. We no longer cared what we looked like. It was like we had entered a club where everyone in it knew just how good it was but no one outside of the club would listen. The club of awesomeness. The people carrier club. And proud!
Its been part of our family for three years now, and has dutifully carried us far and wide. We’ve done several trips down to Cornwall, a couple of journeys to Bath, a drive to France and back and countless trips around our beautiful county and beyond. It fits all three children in their huge car seats in the back, and when they’re a bit bigger and we need to ferry their friends around, it has a couple of extra seats to do that too. We have had car boot picnics in it (even in the rain) and we have never, ever failed to fit our stuff in, whatever the trip. Honestly, I can’t imagine life with a different car and we definitely didn’t know what we were missing in our pre-funbus life.
So people (my sister-in-law) may laugh, people (my mother-in-law) may mock but we don’t care. They’re the ones who are missing out. They don’t know what we know. To my fellow people carrier drivers, you get it. You know. Life with a funbus is just…..better.