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Family Camping Update

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Well, I am much later posting the update than I thought. The family camping trip went. And there were lots of lessons learned.

First, we love our kids, but four adults in a 38-foot motorhome is more than a bit much. Everyone cooperated and there were amazingly few real problems. No drama, nothing that would be worthy of a soap opera. Just 4 adults trying to get ready in the morning, 4 different minds about what the "right" schedule for the day ought to be, four different pulls. Our two adult kids (we have 3 - one could not go on this trip because of work) were still focused on things back home, naturally. So, in a real sense, we were not a "family" again, as my wife and I had dreamed. We were still really 3 families - my wife and I, and our two kids plus their spouses (even though the spouses were not there, of course). When Thomas Wolfe said, "You can't go home again," I think he was speaking wisdom to parents as well as to adult children.

Second, we learned that having twice as many adults requires four times as long to do anything. We had more days at Disney than we have ever had before, but we actually got less done - and the trip was much more stressful. It took my wife and I a good 3 days to recover after this trip just from never having a single moment to ourselves - and from always having to think about others. That's one of several reasons this post is much later than I originally planned. Again, no blame statements here. It was just an unexpectedly complicated process even when everyone tried to be cooperative.

Third, having 4 adults means you get four inputs on any problems that need to be solved, whether your need or want it or not. Fort Wilderness tried to stuff our 38-foot motorhome into two different sites that were much too small for us. In true Disney fashion, they made it right and everything worked out well, so no complaints on how it turned out. But the process of first of all trying to stuff our motorhome into the assigned sites and secondly trying to negotiate with the Fort Wilderness reservation desk to get a new site was, well, interesting. Everyone had a voice. We have talked on this site about how backing into a site can generate some interesting conversations between husband and wife. Add two more adult voices and it gets even more fun.

Fourth, and most important, we still love each other. Even with all the stress and things not going as planned, even with the rain (try finding a way to dry four sets of clothing in a 38 foot RV following a day-long torrential downpour), at the end of the trip, we all still loved each other. Guess some ties are strong enough to handle anything. But I think it will be quite a while before my wife and I take this on again. Grandkids are a piece of cake by comparison.

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