Vans and books characterised Rufus’ first year of life. Whenever possible, we would all go on Jonathan’s bookselling trips. Travel cot, buggy, milk supplies, endless snacks packed in amongst the books and a portable baby up front with us. It worked well, and we gained a fairly laid-back travelling baby who was used to seeing lots of different faces (and titles).
When planning American adventures, we had always said we would try and travel together – pack up the family into a van and hit the road. While it can be more tiring and less convenient, we’d prefer to be in the same place as each other rather than at opposite ends of this enormous country. And so we have a van with space for us and the books.
This week brought our first road trip – Naperville to Louisville (where Tim, Jonathan’s colleague lives) to Nashville to Louisville and back to Naperville. Let’s just say it is further than we thought before we got into the van!
But it has been fun.
While Jonathan and Tim have been networking, meeting and selling, we’ve been pounding the streets of cowboy-booted, all-day singing Nashville, benefitting from their amazing public library and enjoying the hospitality of kind friends. I think walking-librarying-friending may become a familiar pattern for such trips in the future.
And in the midst of this, journeys timed when the boys should be sleeping. Although, this has not always gone to plan. I’ve sometimes found myself sitting in the middle of two tired but sleep-resistant little men who don’t really know what they want but it’s not what I’ve got!
Resonating around and through the street-pounding, toddler-pleasing and busyness of being on the road has been an ongoing conversation between Jonathan and myself. Face to face rather than FaceTime, in the moment rather than after the event and alongside in all that’s going on. The demands of being on the road mean that often we don’t have this, and are reliant on the the amazing technology of the iPhone. I’m thankful for this opportunity to be physically in it together as things get going here.