Every once in a while I get to tell a new friend about how my parents traveled around in an RV for a few years when I was a toddler. I kinda forget how unusual that little fact is. You mean you parents didn’t sell their house and cars and buy an RV and a Harley and travel the southwest- parking in walnut orchards and doing odd jobs to get by?
I don’t really know why they did it. Did they have a mini-early-life-crisis when I was born? Did they want to reject cultural norms that told them to settle down and start a college fund? I wonder what they were hoping for. I wonder what it was like to feel so disconnected from family and home. I wonder what it was like to have a kid and live in an RV.
I can remember totally NOT getting my parents. I just wanted them to be NORMAL – to move out of the sticks and buy a home in a neighborhood, join the country club and host Tupperware parties, settle down and start college funds for heavens sake! I still don’t totally get them. But, I kinda get why they sold all they had and hit the road. If it was a desire to dump the grind of adult responsibilities, to see something beautiful, to whittle down possessions and have less, to be flexible and spontaneous and autonomous, to be counter cultural, to make time for thinking and wondering on the open road – I soooo get that.
A can remember thinking I must have been switched at birth. I felt so different from my parents. I wanted tradition and nostalgia and home. I still want those things, but I am their daughter. Even if I don’t remember much about those years, I was with them, traveling, driving, picking up and moving on, and I want that too. In one breath I want to live in this home forever, see my children and their friends marry and have babies, watch trees I’ve planted grow stories high…and in the next I want to sell it all and hit the road with Ben and visit the kids en route to the ocean.
Maybe the Lord will let me have both. I know I need to stay put for now. But don’t be surprised if you see Ben and me on the highway some day, driving a souped up RV and headed for the ocean.