Years ago, I was overworking and missing my kids with a ferocity I found almost frightening. I’d drop them at the sitter’s and go to the hospital with a pain behind my breastbone, and wouldn’t experience relief until we were together again.
The ToolMaster wasn’t faring much better, so we talked and developed a powerful fantasy: we’d buy a tent trailer and become one of those families.
We’d camp most weekends of the summer. As a result, our kids would grow comfortable with nature. They’d roam their adopted communities on bikes, acquire a posse of buddies. Our site would be a nexus of music, laughter, and a specified quantity of homemade fudge. (One pan of white-chocolate- peppermint and one of dark-chocolate-cherry for those who wish to know.)
Perhaps that dream would have come true if we stuck with the tent-trailer part of this plan, but when we entered an RV showroom and spotted their display of travel trailers, we allowed ourselves to be diverted. Hours later, we left with lighter pockets, an unnatural high, and in my case, a gut that was already clenching.
The first reality check came when the welder refused to attach a hitch to our van, citing concerns we’d blow the engine. Seems our salesperson had overestimated its towing capacity.
Now, had we been thinking, this would have been a contractual “out” and our cue to recommit to our original vision. But when you are tired and want everything settled; and when you’re going to be working anyway, so what’s a few more payments for years of guaranteed bliss? And when the trailer has bunk beds so the kids don’t have to sleep together and you won’t have to settle fights about who first poked whom, you don’t reconsider.
You ignore your gut. You push down your screaming values. You invest in an SUV. And three years later, when a towing bar breaks on a rural highway, the trailer moves from resented object to lethal threat.