I love Palm Springs – the heat, the dry, the desert, the sage brush and silvery colours, the sunsets, the bungalows and even the wind farm on your way in. It’s far from CHris’s favourite place – he gets bored and doesn’t love the heat with nothing much to do aside from golf. My parents have been renting here for about 8 or 9 years – they have lots of friends who winter there and have homes. We have been coming down since Anderson was two to get some grandparent/family time and breaks from the winter. It’s where the famous “Get it the POOL” game was invented. As our families have grown so too has the noise and chaos in homes that tend to have polished concrete floors. We are in a little neverland right now – a desert oasis of parents and nannies to babysit, lux and stunning weddings to dress up for, a giant kitchen to cook in, a pool for easy entertainment and somewhat lighter than 24/7 parenting duties. This is not to say that the usual challenges don’t rear their ugly screen shaped heads and in fact this brief reconnect with family and friends seems to have increased Anderson’s longing for his friends and intensified his anger at being plucked from his usual life and routine. So in an attempt to manage my embarrassment and shame after a particularly loud and extreme fight between Anderson and I in front of my parents – one that concluded with pain soaked sobs of “I just want to go home” (and not just from Anderson). I needed to remind myself of why we decided this traveling for a year would be a good idea. I also needed to relight my creativity so I started a first photo album of the trip. And it turns out that some shiny pictures of our happier moments was just the balm I needed. Seeing the pictures reminded me that we have had some good times and that Anderson has been happy more than unhappy.
Just as it has been tough for Anderson to be plucked from his life it’s been equally tough for us to dump our life onto my parents life. Every generation parents differently than the one before – sage words from my Dad after this particularly difficult interaction with Anderson. I know that my parents are not on board with our parenting style and I feel torn between wanting to parent the way I was parented and knowing that style will please my parents and not rock the boat – and just carrying on trying to do the best we can attempting to give him some say and autonomy. But I have to agree giving him a voice is highly annoying and I’m not certain at all that it is helpful. I can see him through my parents eyes – as a spoiled demanding child who is addicted to fortnite. I wish my parents would only see him as the funny, generous and sensitive boy that he is at the core. I am frustrated that no matter how much we try to give him room to express and feel his frustration with missing his life – it doesn’t help to bring him out of it. I think it’s time to just 70’s style parent it and say “Deal with it – you can make this good or bad you have the power”. This method instantly backfires with the giant sobs of I just want to go home and why don’t you care about me and my feelings…… sigh…. all in front of my parents in the beautiful home that they have rented that we are staying in for free. And we have definitely STAYED probably a little too long.
Anyway after all of that I retreated to our pictures to see if we are doing anything good with this trip. I just hope the fun times become more memorable than the hard times.
The good news is that we have managed to sell not only the truck but on our way home from the Palms we sold the trailer so the coast is clear for the next part of our journey.