It has been an interesting summer. We bought an RV in the early spring and every time we load up I feel like the Griswolds, but I’ve really enjoyed the trips we’ve taken in it.
It has a sleeping space over the front seats, which means I try and knock myself out at least once a trip moving from the passenger seat to the fridge and back. The kids can sit and play games at the table, lounge on the couch, and JMumbo and I discovered that it was really easy to nap in the back on a long drive home.
Being a bit on the OCD side, I continuously add to the bins and baskets used to organize the cupboards and plan meals a week ahead so I know what to pack, and so I don’t have to eat hotdogs and hamburgers every night.
There is no TV allowed by decree of the mean mommy, but we do take the laptop along for an occasional movie night. One of the deals with buying the tramper was we would spend time together away from the TV. Living in the snow belt means a lot of time inside during the winter with the TV. Camping is not that time! The family has managed well living in my world, even coach has survived without his daily dose of ESPN.
With nothing else to do, the kids talked him into playing Mexican Dominos, which he lost and then said it was because we made up rules. (That’s why he’s a good coach, he wants to win, and JMumbo may have cheated, he’s like that sometimes.)
The tramper did help fulfill a request of the prodigal daughter and JMumbo; it got their father to the beach. The last eight years or so, the kids and I have travelled with my parents, to Rhode Island for a paternal family get-together. My dad’s brother lives about 10 minutes from the Atlantic, loves company, and offers up his home to us every summer for a long weekend in August.
Numbers were down this year with a cousin starting college, another getting married the weekend after, and my brother attending a wedding in Florida, but we still totaled a healthy 16. For years Coach has found reasons not to go, the number one reason being he is not a beach guy and what would he do there all day? He found out this year that a set of twins, age 6, will keep anyone busy walking the beach looking for rocks to take home. I think he averaged 2-3 miles a day.
I love sitting watching the kids on the beach and in the ocean because I remember when it wasn’t the prodigal daughter out there holding a boogie board steady for her cousin, but me holding the board steady for her.
Every year there is a giant hole dug in the sand, but my son now seems to tower out of it, instead of barely peeking over the edge. And we adults get a little grayer and gravity drags more bits down. We play games when it rains, eat incredible meals, and wallow in spending time together. Thanks to the tramper, Coach finally was there to experience it.
He didn’t say much, but the few comments about JMumbo facing the waves and boogie boarding in, and the prodigal daughter’s endless patience with her small cousins, said enough.