As most of our friends and family know, we have untaken the task of renovating a nearly 40 year old camper. We purchased this rig first and foremost for an extended trip we are taking this summer, but hope to use it many times a year in locations as varied as possible!
My husband and I both run our own companies and manage, somehow, to be present for our girls most of the time. This means “free time” is getting chores done and having fun together. The renovation project instantly changed that dynamic. With only a few months to get what became a mammoth project completed, it was all (adult) hands on deck . Of course, the girls were not able to offer the level of assistance Brad or I would have liked…but it turns out, what they did do was just as critical.
Virginia has managed to step up in her role as big sister and really be a reliable caretaker/observer of Kimberly on the days when we were elbow deep in God knows what. This is a new development for her and one that is so much appreciated by us. We have tried to make an effort in letting her know as much.
Kimberly, of course absolutely delighted with the prospect of camping…and who would willingly live in the trailer if we let her, wanted to be all up in everything. I am all for the children watching, learning, and maybe even participating…but with power tools galore, toxic substances about, and maxed out mom and dad on hand…it wasn’t as idyllic as one might think! All in all she managed to keep her role more as “supervisory” and that seemed to work well.
I will say, that my favorite aspect of us all making our way through this project over the past 3 months is that it brings back lots of great memories for me…and hopefully is making some for my girls. Working on stuff with your parents can be really fun…whether its cooking, getting crafty, washing the car, whatever. All too often, and particularly with Kimberly I will say, I find it just easier to do things myself and not even open the door for involvement from the little ones.
The camper project has derailed my typical MO of multitasking to the nth degree, which does not lend itself well to teaching others a skill or actually enjoying a task. I have had to focus on a singular job at any given moment. Good practice for me…and good for my girls to observe.
Additionally, they get to see their mom and dad tackle a big job together. Discussions over design and installation decisions occurred over dinner…essentially all aspects of the project were discussed, decided, and implemented right before their eyes. Teamwork…as Brad likes to say, ” it’s how we roll”! I think this made them feel so much more a part of it.
Suffice it to say, the old camper has brought us closer together already, and it hasn’t even left the driveway!