Thursday, June 12, 2014
Sometimes it takes a kid ...
It's all a matter of perspective.
We're on our first journey with another family (a mom and her three kids; read her blog at jrumo5.blog.com) in our new RV, a 30-foot Wildcat fifth wheel we've nicknamed Lily.
The first three nights, we call Walmart home. On the fourth, we book into a campground in Bozeman, MT, giving us a chance to unhitch Lily. Something we've done only once.
After a few minor glitches (I still read the directions step-by-step), we successfully separate Lily and our truck (kids named him Buck the Truck), and set off to explore Bozeman.
It's morning now and time to reconnect, to stitch together that RV umbilical cord to make us a 50-foot moving machine.
I'm driving, having to eyeball the top of the hitch receiver in Buck's bed with the hitch on Lily's front end. I'm backing up slowly, slowly, slowly, and CHUNCKCLINKCLUNK. Perfect. We're connected. Yay!
I drive Buck forward slowly and I hear Allen in absolute meltdown. "STOP STOP STOP," he screams. And he keeps screaming unintelligibly.
I slam on the brakes, leap out and LOOK! Lily has come unhitched and she now sits crammed jammed on Buck's tailgate, causing it to bulge and buckle.
We grab my instructions. Nothing. We did nothing wrong (other than nearly destroy essential fifth-wheel equipment).
So we have to have another go at it, with Allen at the wheel. CHUNKCLINKCLUNK. But then a MAJOR CWANK! Allen pulls away slowly and Lily follows, like a lamb after her shepherd. Success.
He stops, leaps out to examine the damage. Yep. The tailgate bulges and the top is scraped and gouged. It's awful. But it works, so we get on our way with sullenness as well as Lily in tow.
Here's where perspective fits in.
Kenley, our 8-year-old, quips, "Think of it as a birthmark."
"What?" I ask.
"The damage. It's a birthmark."
YES! Kenley is brilliant. It's our first journey in Buck and Lily, so the damage is a birthmark. Damage to treasure.