People say of our travel and outdoor experiences, “Your kids are so lucky.” As a parent, though, I got to tell you, we’ve not been so sure. This is not easy. Living out of a pop-up camper on the tow ball of a Toyota Highlander gives us freedom to explore, yes. But it’s unsettling. There are lots of things to consider. How do we fund this lifestyle? Can we grasp this life goal while still pursuing others? And especially, are we being good parents?
Our youngest, not even a year old, was once crying in his own personal prison (a child safety seat) on a 6-hour trip. His older brother leans over and says, “You may as well stop. They’re not gonna let you out.” It was a lived truth. But we don’t do this to make their lives miserable. We hope we’re giving them experiences that are going to enrich their lives.
We’ve been visiting Kristin’s family in Alabama for several weeks. Out came the photo albums! Yay. There was the image of their pop-up camper. She often tells about begging her dad to set it up in the driveway for her as a child. In this picture, we realized they owned and used this camper since their first child. Kristin was surprised how long.
Now Kristin again has a pop-up camper set up in her mom and dad’s driveway. This time with her three children, the memory of one, and a husband who shares her passion. The acorn doesn’t fall far from the oak.
This reaffirmed my faith. Despite the pain of transitions, our kids experience more of their country and world. That wealth of experience can stick with them.
May it be so.