Filed under: Family Camping, Family Day Trips, Family Weekend Trips
In Transition…A Change of Life Revisited
A few months back, I published several posts about family transitions; times when families encounter change and must adapt to traveling with or without loved ones. I lamented at the time that we may never again travel with our two youngest children as one is in college and the other prefers to perform with a youth community theatre group during summer to traveling with the family.
I am delighted to report that I was wrong. Our college student has searched in vain for a job, to no avail. Alas, he will be available to travel with us and is eagerly planning our hikes as I write this. He also joined a fraternity this past semester and had to do some writing and introspection about his growing up years. He came home after that process and thanked us for raising him the way we did and exposing him to the things he saw.
Our dramatic daughter graduated from high school this weekend and has become more insightful, through that process, about times we have spent as a family. Aware that she, also, will be leaving for college in August, she appears to be more conscious of how little time we have left together in this way. She has made the decision not to audition for the summer production and, after a few slight modifications of our summer plans to accommodate her preferences, has agreed to camp and travel with us for two weeks this summer.
Thus, while making lists of items we need to buy for her new dorm room and accumulating the bottles of shampoo, conditioner and body wash to meet her needs until Christmas, I am once again excitedly anticipating our summer trip. What at first appeared to be a journey that would be left to my husband and me, along with our three cocker spaniels, is turning into what may be our final summer journey all together.
Next summer, Ryan has made plans to live in our home in New Mexico and take a job as a whitewater raft guide. This is an activity we have shared many times and Ryan can think of no better way to spend a “summer vacation” from college. As we will not get out there until late July, putting this year out of the question, Ryan is making plans to approach several of these companies this summer when we head west in anticipation of lining up a job for the following summer.
In all likelihood, (I hope) Meghan will find a job of some kind next summer. She will have her first year in as a poor college student and will hopefully appreciate how important it is to begin her job search early. Additionally, as she will attend college seven hours away, she will not have school activities when she comes home for the summer to take her away from a job search as she did this year.
A benefit we did not immediately realize when our children experienced difficulty in securing employment this year is the fact that they will also both be available to help prepare our home to be listed for sale, something we had planned to do approximately August 1st. Ryan will be “employed” painting and landscaping the exterior, things he does not mind doing and at which he will earn some funds for his next year of school, albeit from us. Meghan will assist with the cleaning that will be necessary in a home that, while cleaned regularly, has housed avid outdoors-people who would much rather camp and hike than clean, as well as our canine family members, currently three cocker spaniels, for in excess of 22 years. Her help will be necessary and greatly appreciated.
Often when I am stressing about what lies ahead, I can remind myself that things always work themselves out. Whatever your religious beliefs, we can probably all agree that often some of the best things happen when we let go and trust in God, the universe, the future. When I did, my children came back to travel with us, at least this one last time. I will cherish those moments.
For more information about family camping, search Woodalls for family camping information and campgrounds.