Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Camping....Is It Worth It?
It takes at least two days. Our washroom slowly fills up with all manner of packing....suitcases, boxes, sleeping bags, tents, water jugs.... My husband and I make a perfect team. I make the lists. (Although during this last camping trip the famous line was, "We need to put that on the list for next year.) I pack all our essentials to the backdoor. He makes the essentials fit in the van. I think he has the hard part; since I am spatially challenged I leave that to him. This year we removed two seats from the van to make it all fit. I thought we packed a lot when we introduced an infant to our traveling lives, but I'm thinking two growing boys demand even more: bike, tricycle, dump truck, tractor, soccer balls, goals....these last items don't fit nicely in a box.
Then we drive. We arrive. We play. We get dirty. We don't just get dirty, we are dirt. We become one with the dust and grime. We pretend that our daily swims in the lake are baths, but they really aren't. Why do I even pack a cosmetic bag? I never use it. I barely get a brush through my hair or toothpaste in my mouth. I did pack shoes for the boys, but they never wore them. They rambled through the woods with bare toes. My oldest asked, "Why does the blood come out of the skin?" I need to bring two boxes of bandages for next year's event.
We sleep, a bit. The air mattress helps; one has a slow leak. I end up with two boys in one tent and my husband with one in the other. We miss each other. He tried to send a text message to me in the middle of the night. I hear the beep, but can't locate it in the folds and layers of sleeping bags and blankets. It was deep down in the diaper bag. It was a sweet text. I read it the next day; I would have liked getting it in the night as we both lay awake, being perfectly still to keep our kids asleep.
Bedtime? It is dictated by the sun. Morning? Dictated by the crows. Sugar limit? S'mores have no limit, neither to red vines and gummy bears. Trail mix? They pick out the M&M's.
The camp cleanup takes even longer than the set up, but it is all part of the experience. We arrive at home, totally tired yet strangely refreshed. Even the baby is dirty and needing a bath. We soak and scrub. My feet will never be the same.
My washroom is again crowded with stuff, stuff to be washed and sorted. Stuff to be stashed and put away until next summer.
Yet we all love it. It is about family and being in the moment. I asked my oldest what his favorite part was. "Everything, I just liked everything. That's all."
But it is worth it. We love it. We plan on doing it again and again.