Saturday, 6 March 2010

Families on the road

Contrary to our assumption that Dan, Marlene & co would run screaming from our slow, chaotic lifestyle on the road, it turned out that they thought we were OK. At least OK enough to suggest that our families travel together across the bottom of Arizona and New Mexico towards Texas.

We were to spend the next two weeks together.

The two groups are approaching our road trips in slightly different ways: we are very much camping, while they are at home, everywhere. But we found ourselves to be very compatible.

Ava and Sophia became fast friends, united not only in their big sister-hood, but also Disney princesses, the color pink, arts and crafts activities, jewelry, DVDs, nail polish…and most importantly, the joy of running around and screaming like lunatics after a long day in the car.

With the two trailers always parked next to each other, the girls liked running back and forth between each other’s “homes”. Interestingly, each wanted to be at the other’s trailer as much as possible. The reason for Sophia’s preference was obvious: they had a TV. We were less sure why Ava liked our place so much, but it was great having her and we were able to keep her entertained with lots of coloring books, necklaces and DVDs on the computer.

Because both families had babies, no excuses were needed for the constant stops for diaper changes and feeds, the getting-the-baby-to-sleep jiggle dance, uncontrollable crying (the babies), exhaustion (the mothers) or one person doing all the driving (the fathers).

We cobbled together a joint lifestyle that seemed to work for everyone: slow mornings, fun day trips, drinks in the evening and potluck dinners. Luckily, they were very patient about our loose approach to bedtime wreaking havoc with their usual 8pm end-of-day. Although, as we moved East, I guess Ava and Mila sort of kept their routines – thinking in California time zones, that is.

It was fun having companionship on the road.

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