First of all...that giveaway I posted about at Homestead Revival...the one for the reusable canning lids...I WON IT!! Excited as I am about that, my post is a sober one...
I'm sorry I haven't been on this space for almost a week now. Internet coverage has been slim to none, because we've been beelining it South as fast as we could go. I wish I could tell you it's because we've been having so much fun, that I didn't have time to log on...but, I would be lying. It's not that we haven't appreciated this trip, and all that the country has to offer by way of scenery and interest. It's just that the realities of living with a 3 year old, in a car, tent, and occasional motel for this long has been...well...crappy.
I'm just going to get painfully honest, here....I'm failing my son. I've had moments of failing him before...but, they were always recovered pretty quickly, and I was back on my way. This trip, though fine for the first little while, has me shaking my head in disbelief at how far it's all gotten away from me. He's a great road trip kid...still is...but, behavior and emotions have become unbearable. My failings are almost like a bad habit, at this point...and the harmony in our parent/child dynamic is crumbling. There are several reasons...
The actuality of putting up a campsite day in and day out, and driving for hours on end, state after state, with him strapped in a carseat...then occasionally staying put, only to hole up in a motel room, because the Pacific Northwest can't stop raining on your parade...well, it adds up to a whole lot of rejection and boredom, and "stop that!", "hold on a minute!", "if you unbuckle your seatbelt, it's curtains!", "if you don't put that down, you're in trouble!", and "come here!...now, sit down!", "sit right there and fold your hands till I'm done, here!", "don't mess with that!", the worst one..."leave me alone for a minute!!!". Then as if telling a 3 year old boy to stay beside you, sit still, and leave you alone isn't perfect storm enough...he's created a mental cocoon to cope with the boredom, and I can't get him to respond to me, unless I go touch him, or I raise my voice. You can speculate as to which one wins out, when your hands are full of camping stuff, or you are driving down the highway. To make it all worse, he has taken to running off...and when you're on a ferry in the middle of the Puget Sound, a place you've always wanted to go...that running off can morph into the kind of terror only a parent understands. But, he was sick and tired of standing in one place...and he was going to find adventure if it meant disobeying and doing something he shouldn't, knowing it would most likely get him in trouble. So much for soaking in God's beauty, and marinating in the culture of a wonderful place...trade that in for a hyperventilating panic attack, after you finally find your wayward son, hiding under some chairs 2 decks above you, mix in some unbelievable rage, and some scary blood pressure levels...and you have my very "unsound" experience in the Sound.
Note to self...if you're going to try to see things that mean alot to you to see...or fulfill lifelong dreams..."with a 3 year old" is not one of the criteria to materialize that experience.
It's not his fault...it's mine. To put it plainly...we are miserable. He has no structure, no consistency...and the way this trip was done...there's really no way to make that happen. Had the original RV plan taken place, this wouldn't have been as much of an issue...we would have had a mini home, that we didn't have to build every day. This may have been very enjoyable had it lasted 2-3 weeks...but, week 4 started to turn this thing sour, and it's only gotten worse and worse. I'm sick about it. Everyone keeps telling me that when we remember it, we'll realize how much fun we had. That may be true...but, for right now, the spirit of this entire endeavor has been squashed. Our "Whole Family Project" isn't encouraging wholeness right now...it's creating havoc in my little boy, and blue-in-the-face aggravation in us. Add to that a myriad of other issues that come along with living in a tent...we are past the end of our rope.
One more casualty of this trip?...camping. I don't think I'll ever want to camp again, as long as I live. Maybe it would be different with some friends, or more people...but, in our little family of 3, this will most likely be a father/son endeavor from here on out.