Nathan Loewen turns 30, gets himself a mini-van and, much to his surprise, finds himself “the man”.
I had been dreading this moment for months, for weeks, and now here it was. I tried hiding, I tried pretending it wasn’t going to happen, yet here it was. As much as I wanted no part of this, it was inevitable. It was my 30th Birthday.
I wish I could explain why turning 30 was so hard for me, but I am not sure how to put it into words. That day there was just a feeling of I can’t believe this is happening can I turn off the lights in my office and take a nap instead.
I wasn’t afraid of getting grey hairs, those appeared 2 years earlier when my daughter was born, that is a whole other story. I wasn’t afraid of being out of shape, that happened shortly after I graduated from college. I wasn’t afraid of being too old to go out to the bars to date women, I was already happily married.
I was afraid the rest of the world would now know that I was old. For some reason the age of 30 marks the age of responsibility. No longer could I be the young minister in his 20s trying new things and making mistakes. I felt now I needed to be the dad, the one with a job, the one who is responsible.
Gone were the days of being in my 20s and doing dumb stuff just for fun. Gone were the days that I still had time to define who I was. It felt like it was time for me to decide who I was, that the searching was over. Up ahead were the days that would solidify that I was, in fact, a young dad who was 30.
Within two weeks of turning 30 my wife and I went out shopping for a new vehicle. This wasn’t a new vehicle for her, but for me. We were going to trade in my truck and we had talked about it for about a month.
It was really my idea. I needed something other than my old school, four door truck, because it was inconvenient to take my daughter around town where she needed to go. I wasn’t getting the convertible I wanted, it was equally as impractical as my truck. I wasn’t getting a Jeep that the top would come off, and I could drive anywhere.
We found ourselves at the dealership and soon we were down the road test driving my new vehicle, a minivan. Yes, within weeks of turning 30, I was now the proud owner of a minivan.
This just made turing 30 worse, I thought. Not only am I now OLD, I am now the owner and driver of a mini-van. Mini-vans weren’t cool. Mini-vans aren’t on the list of things my 20 something year old ever wanted to own. Mini-vans were for my mom, and my friends moms, not me.
How could I ever survive turning 30 driving a mini-van? I was going to get laughed at, and I did. My wife also couldn’t believe that I had decided to give in and get a mini-van.
All the way home, my wife and I watched, sang, and then named the minivan our, “Swagger Wagon.” Ah yes, maybe my 30s will be as fun and entertaining as my 20s. The minivan doesn’t make the man, the man makes the minivan.