While I was raised a Christian, since I have become a mother, I have inadvertently embraced the teachings of my homeland: Buddhism. How so you ask? Well, let me tell you….
One of biggest tenets of Buddhism is selflessness. You let go of your ego completely to obtain enlightenment. While enlightenment is probably not within my immediate reach (I’m still trying to figure out the Kardashians…seriously, how are they so famous?), selflessness I definitely get. I skip my own breakfast so that I can feed my children and get Sarah off to school. I postpone showers so that I can get Katie to her Little Gym class in time. I eat 1 out of my 2 daily meals standing up so that I can be in ready position for whatever needs my children shout out at me (Water! Fork! Napkin! NOW!). I earn absolutely no income and in fact, both my daughters have, at this moment, more cash on hand than I do. I am emaciated, hungry, poorly groomed, penniless, and ordered around by people less than 4 feet tall and more than 30 years my junior. If that’s not letting go of your ego, I don’t know what is.
But perhaps the greatest act of “selflessness” on my part is: I drive a freakin‘ minivan. And even though I’ve been driving it for over a year, I still have those out of body moments where I can see myself, driving this Moby Dick of a car around town, while listening to the Kids station on satellite radio. The Kids station for Pete’s sake!!!!! Who is this tragic shell of a person?!
How did it come to this? I still feel like a twenty-something gal and yet, my vehicle tells me most definitively, that I am not. Pulling into a valet line downtown in my Toyota Sienna does not get me a spot upfront and center, even if it is the latest model with all the bells and whistles. It’s the Ferrari of Minivans, people! But nope, I think the valet guys draw straws to see who has whisk my car away before any body sees them driving it. It is sad, demoralizing, and so not me. In my ideal world, I am an Audi A6 sedan. Refined. Sleek. Classy but not showy. But au contraire mon frere, in my garage stands my 7 passenger, 14 cup holder(!) behemoth of a vehicle announcing to the world, “The person driving this is SO. NOT. COOL.”
It is a daily assault on my sense of self-worth and identity. And yet, I will let go of any trace of ego that I have and I will do it for the kids. I will do it because it has an accessible third row for carpools. I will do it because my kids and their friends can climb in and out unassisted. I will do it because it has ample cargo and seating space for when my parents come into town or when we take road trips. I will do it because when my kids grind in goldfish crumbs into the leather seats or puke because they are carsick, I don’t even bat an eyelash because…well, it’s a minivan. I will do it because my kids think it’s the best car ever. (Did I mention it’s the Ferrari of Minivans?) And I will drive it till it is dead into the ground, when my kids perhaps can have their own car, and I can have a sexy two-seater…just in time for my mid-life crisis.
For your viewing pleasure