Last week, I was driving down the highway and passed slews of trailers, campers and motorhomes. Families emerged from every nook and cranny ready to go and set up camp. It’s a very beautiful and in your face reminder that a long weekend is coming.
I’ve also learned that It’s a very Canadian thing to do.
And I LOVE it!
It’s one of those things that I rather unexpectedly fell in love with. It has given me a full one crush I can never afford, an Airstream Trailer.
Even though my parents traveled all over Europe in a rented camper when I was young. I don't recall much of our trips and it came to a rather abrupt end due to illness.
When my husband introduced me to the idea of bush camping I was rather reluctant. A) We don’t have mountains and large forests in Holland. B) Neither do we have bears, cougars, rattlesnakes, bobcats and other crazy wildlife and C) What do you mean there is no cell service?
But what’s a woman going to do when it’s a tradition for her husband, her stepchildren and his family?!
Yeah, not much.
And you know what, I fell in love with it! Plus this made me passionate about taking my stepkids on a road trip.
Being out in the wilderness without any cell service is the best. Plus spending your long weekends away from everyday life, no internet, no social media, no emails, no phone calls, just you and the people you’re with, is pretty amazing.
But as I sat in my car, watching all the trailers pass by I couldn’t help but feel sad. Watching all those trailers highlighted my temporary single status.
A stepmom without her stepchildren. And in my case, a wife without her husband. A woman without her family.
Our family doesn’t get to spend every single long weekend camping because the kids are with their mom. That’s what it means to have a 50/50 access schedule. With the stepchildren gone it also means that my husband is out of town.
This past weekend I spent it without my family.
Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t alone, just not with my main crew. They were out doing their own thing, living life and having a blast, I’m sure.
Knowing all of this still doesn’t mean it’s easy watching families pack up their trailer as I stroll past their house with my dog. Hearing those high pitched excited voices ready to head out to a provincial campsite or into the bush leaves me with mixed emotions. My mind is jolted with memories from the past. It’s reliving a life of everyone sitting around the campfire, setting up the trailer and of kids getting lost in the woods playing for hours on end.
So many cherished memories have been made over the past few years.
Then I remember that it’s hard for all of us. It doesn’t matter if you’re a biological parent or stepparent. Not having your family around is hard. Period.
I get you, I get how you’re feeling.
Unfortunately, It’s the reality of many blended families. The kids move between homes and have two different lives. No matter how much I dislike being without my family, I can’t change it.
And that’s okay.
Because the next time, we'll be together again.