“When are we going to travel again, Mom?” Davy asked as we drove home from Boy Scouts last night. “I really miss it.”
“You give us the word,” I replied, “and we’ll take off.”
It’s hard finding a balance when there are many good options. How does one go about figuring out whether doing Thing A or Thing B is better? What is better anyway?
We’ve been struggling with that issue lately. Reentry has been… conflicting. It’s now been nearly two years since we finished our journey and came back to Idaho. Two years off our bikes and in a more settled life.
And it’s been a wonderful two years. The boys love their advanced math and science classes. They’ve learned tons by being part of a FIRST Robotics team and a Boy Scouts club. Davy ran with cross country and Daryl is on the swim team. It’s been wonderful for them to put down roots and be part of a greater community.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed waking up every morning knowing I will have water. Running water. Even HOT running water. I love having a toilet to sit on and a real stove to cook on. The decadence of a washing machine in my own house still hasn’t worn off.
John has channeled his unending supply of energy into rebuilding our house, and he’s now planning how he’ll fix up the cottage we inherited last summer. He’s made a documentary film of our journey and chopped wood to heat our house.
All four of us have fallen head over heels in love with two adorable puppies.
It’s been a wonderful time here in Boise.
But sometimes, we long for a life on the road.
There are times when I dream longingly for the simplicity we had for all those years. The time together as a family. Working together towards a common goal.
I miss being surrounded by Mother Nature’s handiwork. I miss the wind on my face and being one with nature. I miss being just another part of the food chain.
I miss the quiet solitude of those long, lonely nights spent curled up in our tents. Yes, even the LONG nights in the middle of winter when we were snuggled up like cocoons for fourteen long hours. I miss listening to the coyotes howl off in the distance.
And so we face a choice.
I’ve always said that whenever you make a choice TO DO something, you make a parallel choice NOT TO DO something else. It’s all about making that choice knowingly and deliberately. It’s about knowing both what you are choosing for and what you’re choosing against.
And we know both of the options. We are fully aware of what’s involved with both of them. They are both great options. There are wonderful parts to both. There are downsides to both.
And so I do the easiest thing I can – I leave the decision to my sons.
“Whenever you decide you want to leave Boise and head out traveling again,” I told them, “just let us know and we’ll do it. But remember to consider it all. It will mean leaving your classes and robotics behind. If you want to do that, then we’re game.”
Is that fair? I don’t know. Am I being a mean mother asking my 15-year-old sons to make lifestyle choices for our family? Maybe I am. Maybe I’m just empowering them to be mature in their thinking and to consider all options. I like to think that’s what I’m doing.
So far, they have decided to stay in Boise, but I know that might change. The day might come when they decide their needs would be better met by a life on the road. When that day comes, we’ll pack up and head out.
It’s a tough line to walk, having too many options. A tough line, indeed.