Tuesday, March 27, 2012

He Who Dies with the Mostest Toy Hauler Wins

By Sheilah

We’re off to South Carolina, to look at the toy hauler the boys must have. They have too many toys is what this whole adventure tells me, and now they need a big wagon to carry them in. I picture Dylan at 2 in the backyard lugging his Red Ryder wagon around, chock full of sand toys and sticks and stones and all the things he acquired that he cannot let go off. I see my husband when we first met 27 years ago in that huge Ford truck with the off-road tires and the lift package on it, near monster truck-like. The size of those tires was awesome, I concede that.

But now, they tell me, the dirt bike racing requires a hauler/camper. There is no way around it. They cannot tent camp any longer. It rains too much, gets muddy, their backs are stiff. They refuse to stay home the night before and hit the race early Sunday morning. No, they must be there the night before to walk the track, get the lay of the land, roast marshmallows. I get it. I do. Half the reason for racing is so Dylan can hang out with his friends, run in the night, complete the whole dangerous life of boys thing by camping.

Does it all really require an expensive camper, though? I ask quietly. Of course it does, silly thing! They’ve spent weeks looking at campers vs. toy haulers, and the final result is in: it must be a toy hauler, which is the camper turned trailer with the back that opens like a ramp to load the bikes in the back. The couches-sleepers fold in and up to the sides to make room for the bikes. The queen bed is on a hydraulic lift so it easily raises to the ceiling to make room for the bikes. Clearly, the bikes are the thing. There is a bathroom and a kitchen, if you cared about such, but I don’t think they do.

So a toy hauler it will be. Wi-fi, stereo surround, microwave, shower, stove, fridge and freezer, beds and dinette—all the creature comforts. You can open the windows and sleep by the sound of the cicadas. You can open the back and pull a screen down. You can mount a flat-screen TV to watch motocross. You can primitive camp where there are no facilities. You can dream of your hare scramble race through the woods the next morning, your Suzuki tucked in safely beside you, amping your dreams.

And you can hitch your toy wagon to your truck, with stars in your eyes, dreaming. Everything you want on your back as you travel down the back roads to some random land in the woods that a farmer has devoted to this dangerous sport, so boys can be boys finally, like they used to be when we were all farmers.

And Mommy, the most important thing, remember, is that YOU will be there, cheering me on at the race. Oh, who wouldn’t want one?

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