Summertime in Tennessee. Hot, humid… and hormones. Sooo many hormones.
Maybe that’s why I couldn’t figure out how to tighten the straps on my 2 day old baby girl’s infant car seat.
The nurse had just wheeled us downstairs and said her goodbyes. That doorway may as well have been the Great Divide. She left me. She left us. That nurse was letting us leave the hospital with a helpless, tiny human.
And it was sweltering. For the next 45 minutes, I would stand there. Dripping sweat. And crying. Yes, crying. (I told you there were hormones involved.)
For the life of me, I could not find the right method to cinch those stupid straps. At many points, I comforted myself silently by saying babies are practically indestructible.
After what seemed like a small window into eternity, I called my bestie and she introduced me to the nearly invisible button cleverly hidden underneath the center strap. How did I miss that?
Finally, I would go on my very first car ride with my baby. The first of many.
I cannot even begin to count the number of road trips I’ve taken with my kids over the years.
At first, it was just my daughter and me. Easy peasy. Just keep her belly full and her diaper fresh… and sing. Lots of singing.
Baby number two, no problem. Big sister could help entertain him and hold his bottle when necessary.
Baby three… baby four… baby five.
At this point, I became a well-oiled traveling machine.
Oil change ✔
Tires checked ✔
Full tank of gas ✔
Individual activity bags ✔
Sippy cups ✔
Puke bucket ✔
(That last one is imperative with kiddos who suffer from motion sickness!)
I knew the best time to leave was 3:30 am. My kids would fall back asleep and the first hours of my drive would be completely peaceful. That’s very important with a minivan full of kids.
Survive mentally at all costs.
I learned that keeping oodles of gum on hand means less bathroom breaks because you drink less water. (When you’ve given birth several times, it’s wise to curtail the liquid intake on roadtrips. Am I right, mamas?)
As you can tell, I have become a road trip pro.
So, heading out of town on a 7 hour trip with all five kids in tow was no biggie… except for one small detail. My van.
My van was four years old and has made this trip many times before. And that was comforting me. I had places to go, people to see. Surely it would be fine.
Off we went. Mama’s checklist done. The open road before us.
Everything was fine for the first few hours. Well, mostly fine. The van was driving a little funny, noisy perhaps.
And then a random check engine light popped on. Grrreat. What was I supposed to do now? Three hours away from our destination. I had to keep going. Right?
Right. I didn’t have the time or money to get it figured out and fixed. So, I’d just whisper a prayer through gritted teeth and hope to make it three more hours. Three more hours to keep my kids safe.
Who can relax with a check engine light staring you in the face? Not me. And not the grandmother of the five children strapped in my back seats.
Grammy pressed the panic button. She was aware that in the last six months I had shelled out $2500 to mechanics for repairs to a van that once again had something wrong with it.
At the time, I had no safety net. No car warranty. Paying out of pocket for vehicle repairs had drained the bank account. Yet, the van once again needed something new to continue safely carrying my life’s most precious cargo.
So, my mom let her fingers do the walking (digitally speaking, of course) and made some inquiries. Loads of inquiries.
We made it the rest of the way and arrived safely. My nerves were totally frazzled. Driving for hours in a constant downpour while being anxious about a check engine light had done me in.
I needed a solution. I had zero mechanical know-how. So, I couldn’t pop the hood and take a look because I had no clue what to look for.
That’s when I started picturing that dadgum duck. “Aflack! Aflack!” I needed some sort of auto Aflack.
Where the heck is the insurance policy to help with car repairs?! That’s what I needed. Vehicle repair insurance.
Little did I know, that type of insurance already existed. I just didn’t know about it.
How many times had my vehicles needed repairs that insurance wouldn’t cover? How much money had I spent on those repairs? Countless visits to mechanics. Thousands upon thousands of dollars.
What would a mechanic do with an insurance policy that actually covered repairs? What would an unsuspecting female do without said mechanic telling her she needs not just the normal repair, but now so many more were “necessary?”
Imagine walking in to pick up your car and NOT being told your car could really use several hundred dollars worth of additional repairs.
That type of car repair insurance just makes sense. It’s not just for unexpected accidents, it’s for every day. It means less worry for vehicles with no warranty. It’s also for practical things that give you a little scare, like red lights blinking from the dash.
Alright. So, it can’t help with everything. You know… Like securing your sweet newbie into her car seat on a blistering July afternoon.
Every average vehicle owner needs a little Eligible in her life.