Last night, my adult son looked at me and said, "You know I am so envious of you right now, don't you?"
We'd been talking about the final preparations for my trip to Texas, and the things that remained to be done or checked out on the Big Bad Blue Bronco and the camper. I thought I knew what he was talking about, but I never take such things for granted, and so I asked what he meant.
"This trip," he said. And I knew. I would be envious, too, if I were in his shoes. We are so much alike, he and I. Adventure tugs at both of us, and although his relationship with her has been at times much riskier than mine, both of us have driven our parents crazy with our desire for her. I don't know about Josh, but I enjoy the solitude that the road trip brings. Sometimes I turn off the radio, just listening to the sounds of the car and the road singing that song that I know from so many road trips going back to the Golden Years of Car Travel: the mid 1950s. I enjoy the tableau changing around me as I go, from the geographical to the zoological to the botanical. I enjoy the relative anonymity of travel. I can be my best self without concern as to anyone harmed by my truthfulness. Or I can be someone entirely different; I can try on some new feature, like a hat or a mustache, without concern about embarrassing my children (although I do remind them from time to time that this is one of my primary tasks as a parent).
My excitement and anticipation of Adventure has been balanced by Anxiety. It's the usual stuff: Will the truck make the entire journey without issue; am I up to the task of hitching and unhitching without my partner and life-coach at every stop; how am I going to get the dogs in-and-out of that damned big truck; will my old beat up body get whipped into shape before I am whipped; etc., etc., etc.
My hope is that this conflict between Adventure and Anxiety makes me balanced and prepared for what lies ahead. We all live in hope, eh?