We've been through our share of strollers.
Oh boy, have we.
When Charlie was born, my mother-in-law and her circle of friends got together to buy us an amazing BOB utility stroller. It has been a wonderful thing for us with all the walking I do.
I walk. For exercise. For peace of mind. It is like knitting, that repetitive motion, one foot after another, my mind clears and I feel like I can think. So a stroller is important to me. We still have that BOB stroller, and will until Charlie passes the weight limit for it, which is a whopping 70 lbs.
When Calvin was on the way, my friends all went in on a great double stroller that I hand picked. It seemed like the perfect thing. It was a one in front of the other stroller, and for taking to the mall it worked great. Trouble is, you rarely find me in the mall. I am usually walking around town or the pastures near our house, and the double was hard to manage. Then Charlie outgrew it. And we let it go.
Next was a bike trailer that could also be used as a stroller. We bought it second hand. This one would hold the kids for some time. It was better for walking. Trouble with this one was the kids sit next to each other with nothing in between them. Charlie has keeping to himself issues. He is very loving, just huge and over loving. I had to stop my walk every couple minutes to pull big lovey brother off little Calvin and re-situate them both. And, as Emperor Cuzco says in Disney's Emperors New Groove, "Um, he threw off my groove!" We off loaded that one in our garage sale last weekend.
At the beginning of summer I knew I would need something to take both kids in so they would a) not pummel each other while I walked, and b) both fit in so I could take a walk in the first place. I looked at many models and read reviews. I decided against a double jogging stroller because, well, they are SO expensive. I chose in stead a model where one child sits in front, and the older child either stands on a platform in back, or sits on a little bench. It was inexpensive, and a good idea.
Sigh. It works okay. Again, it would be great in the mall or Disneyland, but I needed something that could handle rough roads, meandering sidewalks, and dirt trails. Also, it turns out when all that is holding Charlie in is a lap belt on a bench seat, his little flexible body can maneuver into brothers space just as easy. Sigh. That one is parked in the shed, ready for craigslist.
Fast forward to this morning when what should pop up on Craigslist, but the very stroller I passed up because of it's expense. I called praying this would be the one for us. I was answered by a woman who was so happy that I had called, almost relieved. She said when she posted the add last night she prayed someone would wake her up wanting to buy the thing. Well, I would have done that had I called her when I saw the add, but I restrained myself! Her family is moving and could use the extra cash for all the expenses that moving involves. That, and who wants a huge stroller hanging out in the garage when one is finished needing it. She is so glad to sell it to us, and she wants to drive it an hour to deliver it to me... today, if I want it. YES! I WANT IT!
Gosh, I am so blessed. Blessed that I could bless her and she me, all at one time. The enormous BOB Duallie stroller is now easily stashed in the trunk of my car. I already took Calvin for a walk in it, and can't wait to show Charlie what we have for him as well. The ride was amazing--did great over all the bumpy roads and curbs, it fit through the door of the coffee shop down the road, and it folded up small enough to fit in the trunk easily. I can't believe our incredible blessing this morning.
Wouldn't you know how God works that this second-hand stroller cost me just as much extra that we had already budgeted for large baby expenses--we will still have enough to finish paying our midwives by our due date and buy the home birth supply kit we need... exactly enough. And where a new stroller would not come with a wonderful story of two families being blessed at once, this one will always remind me that if I am willing to wait for God's provision, He does so, more perfectly than when I try to fend for myself.
P.S. This blog has a serious lack of recent photos because our poor little computer is out of memory. No one tells you when you become a parent that you need a computer with a humongous memory for all the photos you will take. Well, we are in the middle of a big project to archive our photos onto an external hard drive, and also onto disk. When that is done we can clear some space and upload all the photos on our camera, which could include, say, a photo of our beautiful "new" stroller with happy boys in it!