Camping as a Family

Tent at night

Wish me good luck as I embark on my first family camping trip. It all started months ago as the last snow of the Winter season fell. Our good friends asked that we join them during the summer. My husband jumped at the idea. I turned my head the other way pretending not to hear, comforted that the summer seemed far away. My older daughter said “no way,” my younger daughter “maybe.” How did time fly so fast! Now the weekend in question is days away. My husband had bribed our six year old from a maybe to a yes by offering ice cream stops along the way. Our teenaged daughter remained firm in her resolve not to go. And then everything fell apart when our six year old decided that ice cream was less appealing than staying close to mom and she refused to go if I didn’t. In the end, I decided to put my own need for comfort and cleanliness aside so that I could help the expedition along. I even managed to get our teenaged daughter to agree to join us. My husband, I must confess, is not all that thrilled to have me along. He’s afraid that I’ll complain about the heat, the bugs and the dirt within the first couple of hours of arriving at our site – and he’s probably right!! In some way, I wish that he was taking our six year old away without me – she would undeniably have a better time without my anxieties about hiking too far in the bushes with him or being bitten by bugs – but she just wants her mom close. I have decided to approach spiders with the vision of Charlotte from Charlotte’s Web in mind. I shall see them with long lashes and large innocent eyes and I shall appreciate the beauty in them. I will count the stars at night and contemplate how small and insignificant we are. I shall sing camp songs, play cards and scrabble by the big open camp fire. I shall not worry about bringing sand into the tent or how much bacteria we have on our hands before eating. I shall make sand castles and sit with my feet in the warm water while I watch our children enjoying simple pleasures. I shall…I shall…I shall.. I need to keep convincing myself. And then I shall be rewarded when I come home. The truth is that I still believe that the best part of a camping trip is coming back to fully appreciate the creature comforts of home.