I’ve taken a few deep breaths between my last post and this one as we wrapped up our school year and settled slightly deeper into this lifestyle that is not yet old, but a bit beyond brand-new. In that time, I’ve been stretched to figure out where our family boundaries lie when our home-sweet-home rests within an RV park on public grounds.
I’ve discovered that newly formed friendships may seek out my children with a knock at our front door during breakfast, mid-morning school, afternoon or evening dinner hour. I’ve grappled to discover my appropriate response when new park playmates ask me for food, drink and band aids while their parents (whom I have not yet met) camp a short distance away. I’ve struggled to define appropriate personal space within this public place (i.e. which (if any) kids are allowed into our home and when and for how long?). These decisions demanded honest self-reflection and clear family communication.
Part of that honest reflection required that I evaluate my personality and the needs of our family. I’ve learned that I require a place to retreat and recharge. I also thrive on a sense of rhythm and routine. Through discussion, our family arrived at the decision that although we could not control the environment outside our home, we would work to protect the climate within it. This meant that as a general rule, playmates, although welcomed, would stay in the public park grounds and our home routine would be protected to provide the predictable rhythm necessary to maintain our family balance.
It wasn’t easy to create that boundary. In my heart it felt right, but it was somewhat contrary to how I’m used to doing things and admittedly different from what seems ‘loving’. I could very easily have gone a different direction and made different decisions, had I not taken time to be honest and communicate my heart with those around me. Neglecting this conversation would have created extra tension in our home, which would have spilled over into other areas. It reminded me that sometimes we love best only when we have first placed limits around our homes.