I have to confess I have an unrequited love, my Brio stroller, baptized “the Cadillac” by my father. Of all the material things in my life, I have to say I love this the most. I used to think it was plain snobbery. I liked my Graco stroller I had when my daughter was first born, but it was hard to walk with unless the pavement was next to perfect. The wheels began disintegrating immediately, and I couldn’t see Pumpkin, she faced out into the world. But in the end, the Graco just didn’t hold a candle to the Cadillac. You see, my stroller is made of steel, has a suspension system (which means my children don’t have whiplash every time I drive them over a crack in the pavement), and the seat can face forward or backwards whenever I choose. But no, it’s not snobbery… it’s a cultural thing.
For those of you who don’t know, I spent most of my childhood summers in Sweden and I lived there for a few years as well and every once in a while my Swedish side pops up in the strangest ways. After reading Linköpinglivin' I had an aha moment last Spring. It’s not just the engineering of my stroller I love, but just what it represents. If you read that post, it really sums up how I feel about parenting. Growing up strollers were just a part of life, you see them shopping, at restaurants, on boats, trains and trams. Everyone helps you through a door if you have a stroller, upstairs, and into the bus. In fact, trams and busses have a special place for strollers. If the baby falls asleep while shopping, so be it, you wheel it into your house, and that is where the baby sleeps. Babies are just an integral part of the culture. Now, I know most Swedes live in a walking culture, that American’s don’t have, that’s for another blog. Back to my unreasonable, undying love, it was rekindled this past week.
In the search for better mileage last year, we downsized our minivan to a Mazda 5 before baby number three showed up. To my great sadness, I haven’t been able to use the Cadillac as much as I like, because it’s only drawback is that it’s HUGE and doesn’t fit in the car when I have all three kids with me. However, things changed this last week, I was giddy, my kids began to walk to school and I follow right behind pushing my stroller. I love it, I forgot how great it rides, it can take uneven pavement, it even has a raincoat, and just like the Swedes, in my hallway, my baby took a cozy nap in the stroller. Cadillac, I love you even though there are newer and fancier strollers out there, even the US has the Bugaboo now, after nine years, there is no other stroller.