I am completely alone right now. Given that it’s a Monday morning, this isn’t that unusual, but I was alone last night, too. And all day yesterday. In fact, I’ll be alone for another nine days. My family went on vacation without me. Seriously.
It didn’t start out that way. This wasn’t supposed to be the plan. Earlier this year, Mister Man did an inquiry unit on US landmarks where he focused on Mount Rushmore. He loved learning all about it and asked my husband if they could go there someday. My husband thought this was a brilliant idea.
And so the germ of an idea formed. They announced they wanted to drive to Mount Rushmore this summer, and I told them to have fun. I’m not a fan of road trips for a number of reasons, and I get really twitchy when I’m in a car for more than four or five hours. The plan was for Mister Man and my husband to head there for two or three days in July while Little Miss and I hung out at home and had fun.
Then I went out of town to Blissdom.
When I came back, the idea had changed. It had grown. It was now a monstrosity, and I hadn’t been consulted. My husband had talked to my dad about how Mister Man wanted to go see Mount Rushmore. Between the two of them they cooked up the idea of renting an RV and going to see Mount Rushmore. And Yellowstone. And then they decided to add Devil’s Tower to the now ten day road trip. My parents were now going, as were both the wee ones.
I can’t do an RV trip. I just can’t. Yes, I can get up and move a little, but the idea of being in an RV for over ten days with five other people gives me the heebie jeebies. I went on an RV trip when I was fourteen with my family, including some extended family, for three weeks through the west. I swore I’d never set foot inside an RV again after that. I was claustrophobic in it after awhile, and we didn’t sleep in the RV. My knees don’t like it when I sit still very long, and being just a liiiiiitle bit older now, this is more of an issue. Oh, and I need my alone time. I can’t be around that many people without a break for that long with no space to retreat and be alone at some point.
Apparently my husband and parents thought I was joking when I’d said I wasn’t ever doing another RV trip. Driving across the country is just not a vacation to me, and I will admit that this is selfish. I was not thrilled that all this had been decided upon and presented to the wee ones as a done deal without anyone consulting me, but how do I tell them that I’m going to take this away from them?
And so they’re on their way right now. They were excited when the RV pulled out at 6am yesterday. A smaller one than we had previously. And they’re staying in campgrounds – all five of them sleeping in the RV. And showering and cooking and eating and living… for ten days. They plotted out the driving, and in those ten days, they’ll be driving for well over 40 hours. Each day they drive, they’ll be driving for between six and eight hours, sometimes more.
I don’t know how long that excitement will last. Neither of the wee ones sleeps well with noise. Or light. And they aren’t exactly quiet. I’ll be interested to see how the trip turns out. Before they left, Mister Man was already planning next year’s RV trip to the Grand Canyon and other destinations, but I’ve put the kibosh on that for the moment.
Am I selfish? Probably. At the same time, I know it’s better for all of us that I let them go and have their vacation and that I stay home where I can catch up on work and sleep and not be crabby. When they come back, if their visions of a trip where Little Miss spends time fishing and catching more fish than Daddy are shattered by the reality, I will feel badly for them. I don’t think this vacation will turn out quite the way they expect, but I hope they’re all happy with it.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some work to catch up on. They won’t recognize this house when they get back. Ignore that disco ball hanging in the foyer….
What’s the most selfish thing you’ve done as a parent?