I got an e-mail the other day from a couple, informing me of their new address, and telling me that after two years, they have sold their motorhome and are off the road.
This happens. The fulltime RV lifestyle does not fit everybody, and for some folks it is not intended to be a long term thing. Some plan, going in, to fulltime for a year, two years, or whatever, and then go back to living in a sticks and bricks home. Others are forced off the road by health, financial issues, or family issues.
However, in this case, they had hung up the keys because they have a new grandson, and want to be there to see him grow up. The wife wrote that the child has a year old brother,and that she missed his first steps, first words, and other milestones, and the experience left her depressed and with anxiety attacks. She doesn’t plan to go through that “torture” again. She said she does not plan to miss a minute of the boy’s life, and that her husband doesn’t feel the same way, but has agreed to stop traveling to make her happy.
The strange thing is that this isn’t the first time I have heard the same story. We have known at least two other couples who stopped traveling because the wife missed the grandkids. Years ago, when we were teaching at Life on Wheels, a lady in the class said that RVing was her husband’s dream, but that she was dead set against it. I asked her why, and she said she and her grandson spend four to six hours a day together, every day. “He needs me,” she stated emphatically.
I asked if the boy’s parents were not in the picture, and how old he was, assuming she was the boy’s caregiver, or that he had special needs. As it turns out, he lives at home with his parents, a short walk away, and is a normal young boy. Except for the fact that he spends four to six hours a day with his grandmother! She said he had friends his own age, but didn’t want to hang out with them, preferring her company. I told her that it did not sound like a healthy relationship to me, and asked if she planned to go with him when he went off to college, or on his honeymoon. I wasn’t surprised when she didn’t come to any of my other classes.
Is it love, or obsession, when a grandparent feels the need to be that involved in a child’s life?
Maybe I’m selfish, but while I love my granddaughters, I’m much happier out here on the road, and don’t plan to give our lifestyle up. I’m content with being the grandpa who passes through from time to time, and sends the girls postcards from interesting places when I’m away. I don’t have to be a witness to every part of their lives. What are your thoughts on all of this?
Thought For The Day – Even if there is nothing to laugh about, laugh on credit.