Life just keeps getting better and better, am I right?
I have no shame in admitting that while I went camping as a teenager with my JROTC group, with someone else handling all the infrastructure, and while I went camping as an adult before marriage and kids, with my only concerns being a tent, a sleeping bag, some friends and some liquor, I have never gone camping as an adult with kids. Kids who need to eat regular meals (and snacks, and more meals, and more snacks, and more meals just after you've cleaned up the previous meal, etc.). Kids who will whine and throw a fit if they're cold or tired or hungry--always hungry! Kids who need sunscreen and bugspray regularly applied, and who need their shoulders watched for pink and their armpits checked for ticks. I was a little nervous to camp with them, without my co-parent in residence, but hell--worst case scenario, town was just an hour away.
In any case, I needn't have worried. Kids are surprisingly resilient in the woods, and having other families with you makes for a helpful tribe who is more than a match for keeping a bunch of kids safe and happy and fed.
|She sketched the dam using mud and a stick. My little artistic genius!|
|I bought the kids this portable hammock for Christmas, and it is the best. Thing. EVER.|
|very interesting rock, brought to me for inspection and admiration|
|On the second night of our trip, the kids asked if we could host the community campfire at our campsite. There's something to be said for having ownership of the flames, you know! The kids did the entire fire business all by themselves, and Syd even baked everyone doughboys, a recipe that she learned at Girl Scout camp.|
I'd thought that I was going camping for the kids' benefit, because I didn't realize how much I, personally, would enjoy all of this communal, social time with my adult friends. It wasn't quite perfect without Matt there, but still, having entire days of leisure just to hang out with and chat with other friendly adults, and eating yummy food with them (and by yummy, you of course realize that I mean half-charred, half cold sausages stuck on a stick), and hiking around in the woods with them.
It wasn't perfect without Matt, but it was still bliss.