The Upside Down Mom: If My Minivan Could Talk

As the mother of three girls who spend much of their time upside-down as gymnasts and cheerleaders, Kerri Rochelle often feels upside-down herself from the chaos of practices, camps, meets, competitions, fundraisers… But she has found that it’s often times when moms feel the most crazy and upside-down that they discover the truly WOW moments of motherhood. She blogs about the wow, and some of the not-so-wow, experiences of being a busy mom to Mikayla, 13, Macie, 10, and Mylee, 6, at

I had a funny thought the other day while running the vacuum through the van. As I swept up month-old fries, sequins, gum wrappers and ponytails, I wondered; if this van could talk what would it say? I imagined the conversation would start something like this:

“Well! You’re finally cleaning up some of this junk, huh?” (I imagine Whoopie Goldberg’s voice).

After my initial shock that my van just spoke, I would answer, “Um yeah, sorry about the neglect. I’ve been busy.”

She’d probably then use several expletives to express the discomfort she felt when I rear-ended the lady getting on the expressway and when I backed into the parked dump truck at Taco Bell and side swiped the guardrail on the way to a regional meeting.

I’m sure we’d disagree on just how often it is appropriate to wash her. She’d tell me twice a year isn’t enough and again I’d apologize and remind her how BUSY I am.

Then we’d reminisce about road trips to Disney World, Myrtle Beach, the Smoky Mountains and Chicago and all the fun times we have had in her and at the destinations she delivered us to.

She’d recap watching the excitement we bring back after Macie, 10, has done well at a gymnastics meet. She’d tell me that the talks I have with Mikayla, 13, on the way to practice about boys and friendships are her favorite conversations to listen to. She’d laugh about the way Mylee, 6, can never decide where she wants to place her booster seat. She’d remind me how lucky I am that my husband still reaches for my hand when he’s driving. She would share that she loves to watch my angels sleep on the way home from trips to my in-laws. She’d tell me it’s ok and I’m not a horrible mother for psychotically spazzing out when we are rushing to get to school and the kids won’t stop fighting.

I’d apologize for the coffee stains, the gum in the carpet and the sticky film that three kids just somehow mysteriously create.

She would ask me to stop singing when I am driving alone and to please get her oil changed more often.

I would thank her for being a major part of my family’s life and allowing us to make so many great memories in her and for never leaving us stranded anywhere despite the fact that I really don’t take care of her the way I should. 

And she would thank me for sharing my motherhood experience and three of the most amazing kids in the world with her.