While it may not seem like a lot, envision everyday piling 3 children into the van, getting one buckled, and waiting a few minutes for the other two to pull their head out of their ass and buckle themselves, drive the 20 minute commute to school, unload said children, return to car and buckle the lone child into her seat.
Then the day varies, but typically includes a few more in and outs with 1 or more kids, the acquiring of some product or 100, the distribution of the please-stop-whining snack, subsequent explosion of said snack all over the back of the van, the daily art project which includes; but it not limited to; glitter, wet paint, glue, streamers and scraps of paper, and the reallocation of articles of clothing left at various locations.
Then we make it home. Most of the procurements of the day get left in the car due to the shortage of hands and willing carriers, with the solemn swear that I will rush back our to get them and the harsh reality that I don't.
The result: 30-40 random pieces of clothing, 3-5 half drunken cups of coffee, a substantial floor covering of crumbs, art masterpieces stuck to the carpet, wrappers from the weekly chip obsession I have and a smell that may or may not be a rotting animal under a seat.
But, let's be clear, I love my van. I wish I were better to it. I have named all my cars (Betty, Tina from Chaska...etc) and I am scared to name this one. If I name it, than I would feel guilty for treating it as I do.
So for now I will have to accept it for what it is and vow that someday, god willing, I will be better to it (once I am, it will become Her, says the feminist). Or, I'll just trade it in for something else and start from scratch.