I have 2 kids. I drive multiple carpools per day. And I'll happily tell anyone who asks me: My car is a hot mess. Here's the upside: You need a pen? I've got one (or 10). Just give me a minute to dig through all the other crap in the arm rest console. Dying of thirst? Feel free to grab one of the 8 half-empty water bottles rolling around on the backseat floor. Need a snack? I'm sure I can find a crushed bag of goldfish in here somewhere.
You get the idea.
As for the downside? There's only one: The judge-y looks I get from other parents when they catch a passing glimpse of my junkyard-on-wheels. Mom blogger Nikki Pennington knows only too well what I'm talking about. The mom of three recently shared a killer post with Love What Matters dedicated to all the moms that haven't been able to find the floor board of their vehicles since August 1st of last year—and I swear it was like she was talking straight to me.
"I'd like to give a shout out to all my fellow hot mess school moms," she wrote. "The ones that let their child out at the drop-off line and yesterday mornings breakfast wrapper rolls out with them. The moms that just found that homework assignment they were supposed to sign while cleaning out their cars. To the moms that live inside their cars four times a day, five days a week and don't have time to clean up that mess, they just move it over. To the moms that pull up to the drop-off line with a minute to spare and hear everything in their vehicle shift as they slam on the breaks because breakfast, snacks, school projects and emergency toys ... pile up fast y'all."
Check, check, check, check!
"May we know them, may we love them, may we confess we've all been one," she continued. "May we promise to look the other way when we see one and not mom shame, and may we all know we are doing the best we can even when our car looks a hot mess like us."
Amen, sister! Because here's the thing. While I'd be lying if I said I didn't sometimes hop into a friend's immaculate vehicle and revel in its strange and amazing cleanliness, I am all too aware that it won't always be this way. My daughter is 15 now, and in 3 short years she will be off at college. And while my son is just starting middle school, I know my days of chaperoning him around town are numbered now, too.
I will miss the tangle of soccer cleats and test papers and snack wrappers that define this stage of my life—a stage that feels long when we're stuck in the minutiae of it, but actually goes by in a blink. Which is why I will own messy ride any day of the week.
It's the fact that it will eventually be spotless one day that scares me.