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Challenge: Traveling with Kids

Our Spring Break RV Adventure: When Parents, Grandparents and Teenagers Hit The Road Together

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My husband just ticked an item off his bucket list, and I literally went along for the ride.

With our son home from college for his spring break, and a family celebration to attend many many miles away from our home, my husband decided this was the perfect opportunity to rent a recreational vehicle or RV—a five ton home on wheels complete with a refrigerator, sink, stovetop, microwave, bathroom, and all the electrical outlets we could ever need for our myriad devices.

So my cockeyed optimist of a husband, two often surly teens, one set of overly trusting grandparents, and a very dubious wife set off like modern-day hippies in our 24 foot temporary motor home.

And while I was truly expecting the worst, and was planning all the ways I would make my husband pay for his misguided decision, I have to say the experience was not entirely awful.

In the cramped quarters of that camper, with no options for retreat or isolation, our family truly came together.

My daughter shared with us details about the scientific research she hopes to one day pursue, and I was astounded by the depth and breadth of her knowledge. My son told us all about the next film he is planning to shoot, and I could discern that this project would be very different from anything he had attempted before. And I witnessed between my parents, married now for almost 49 years, a certain mellowing of their strong personalities, and a melding of their once fiercely independent spirits.

Perhaps my husband knew we needed this time together, this chance to rediscover how amazing these people we call family truly are. Having teenagers and aging parents has made us realize these opportunities are rare, and becoming even rarer.

So I’m not going to reprimand my husband for dragging us on this adventure. I’m well aware that all too soon our son will be returning to college hundreds of miles away from home. Our daughter will once again withdraw to the isolation of her bedroom. And my parents will call on the telephone and tell me everything is fine, when in my heart I know things are not fine at all.

But I’ll cherish these RV recollections, and feel immensely grateful for the big memories we made in that tiny space we called home for a short while.

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