This weekend, the kids and I joined Gene and his family on their long-standing tradition of attending the 4x4 National Jamboree in Bloomsburg. Now, since that meant absolutely nothing to me a year ago, I'll explain what it is for my fellow naive readers out there. People from all over the country register their trucks, Jeeps, Broncos, Scouts -- you get the idea. Anything that is a 4-wheel drive. They park them -- washed, waxed, ready to be admired -- all over the Bloomsburg fairgrounds, while people walk or cruise around looking at them. The owners talk about how they've rebuilt or modified their vehicles. Of course, there are vendors and food and events like races and my personal favorite, monster trucks.
Those of you who have read my blog for years now (aka my mom) know that Liam has loved monster trucks practically since birth. We used to shake our heads in wonder at how the kid even heard about monster trucks from his English-teacher mother and music-teacher father. But, somewhere along the line, Liam discovered a documentary about Bigfoot and its creator, Bob Chandler, on Netflix. And we had to watch it ad nauseam. When the Dodge Raminator came to Muncy, we took him there . . . twice. His grandparents took him to watch the trucks. His godmother bought him "Grave Digger" bedsheets.
So, maybe it's clear that Liam was in heaven this weekend. Actually, the kids all had a blast. Gene and I were slightly worried that our future bug-scientist Aidan would be bored at the show, but it was completely the opposite. Aside from fighting some sort of fever/stomach bug during the weekend, Aidan had a blast. He kept asking Gene questions about the trucks: What year is that one? What kind of engine is that? Why would they make it look like that? He truly enjoyed himself. So did Ellie. She liked the camping aspect (we took the camper to the campground that Gene has been going to since he was a kid with his dad), and she loved playing with her cousins, who came to the show with their parents.
We always have fun with this crazy crew, that's for sure.
My favorite part of the show was the racing and freestyle of the monster trucks. When you are a kid, you watch big trucks jumping and driving over other cars, and you think, "That's cool!" When you are an adult with a driver's license, even if you know next-to-nothing about truck engines (aka me), the driving is much more impressive. These drivers are highly skilled -- the Broadway stars of driving, if you will. ;) Can you honestly imagine driving a vehicle with 66-inch tires, let alone driving that vehicle over jumps and other cars? No freaking way.
Maybe this is the last place you could imagine me being, let alone having a good time. I admit I would not have attended a 3-day truck show if it weren't for the fact that it is something that Gene loves, and I love him. It's the same reason I watched the Bigfoot documentary and even remember the name Bob Chandler -- because Liam loved it, and I love him. What I also love is that if you remain open to different experiences that this world has to offer, you can continuously learn new things, and you might even find yourself telling a random guy who is admiring your truck that the engine is a Coyote 5.0 and sort of know what that means.
Live life to the fullest, my friends, and try things you wouldn't normally do. You might just surprise yourself by having a blast with people you love.