"Hmmmm.....My two favorite things were....falling asleep in the van....and......walking to the washroom." Hold up. Freeze the frame. Let's take a closer look.
It is a beautiful summer morning. A mother and a gorgeous little boy, are walking side by side, on a gravel road. Her arm is extended, to rest across his shoulders. If you listen hard enough, you could probably hear the crunch of tiny rocks, under their shoes. They are surrounded by the hues of greens and browns, that can only be found, in the magnificence of the forest. Streams of sunlight pierce through the trees, creating a majestic glow, around the pair. If you look closely, you can make out their faces. The boy is looking forward. His face is a mixture of pride and resolution. The mother is looking down, at the boy. Her face is a mixture of abject horror and WTF?
Yes. Yes, that was me. Just under 48 hours earlier, our over-packed, squeaking more than it should, totally bad ass, family van pulled onto site #4, for our first camping trip, as a family. My hubby and I both grew up camping. We camped together pretty much every summer, from the time that we met, until I got pregnant with my first little. We both love the outdoors. We had taken our oldest, a handful of times, but this was the inaugural trip for smallest one and all of us together.
Let's be honest. The idea of camping seems synonymous with simplicity. You are going to go into the woods. Be one with nature. Namaste. But, camping is not f**king simple! Anxiety suggested that I make lists. You know how much she loves those. So, we had the grocery list, the dollar store list, the Canadian Tire list, the camping supplies list, the kids' clothing list, our clothing list, the list, of the list, of the listey-list. Honestly. By the time that we were done making our lists and checking them twice, it looked like we were the travelling like the Real Housewives. Anxiety and I have been perfecting our mad list making skills for years, so we were confident that we hadn't forgotten anything. Fitting it all in the van, well that was up to my hubby. He likes puzzles.....
Setting up and tearing down, are also a lot of work. But, we had done this so many times, we were like a well oiled machine. He always did the tent setting up, with my occasional assistance, and I would open a drink, set up the chairs, test them out, maybe shift them slightly to the left, use the motor to blow up the air mattresses, you know, the heavy lifting stuff. It always seemed to go fairly fast and without incident. This was not that. We let the littles out of the van. And then it started....
"When are we going to beach?"
"Can we go down there?"
"Where are our books?"
"Not this book, can you find me the other book?"
"I am hungry."
"I am thirsty."
"Do they have WiFi here?"
And then me to my husband, away from small, inquisitive humans,
"Why do we hate ourselves?"
But, we pushed through. After lots of sweat, 45 questions, two drinking boxes, half a bag of Cheetos, and several deep breaths, we had set up our weekend home. For the most part, we had great weekend weather. We were able to hang out at the beach and go for a walk. We had a little storm, on the second night, but we got to play kids' charades. That shit is hilarious! I did get a strange look from my husband, when he was acting out shovel, and I yelled "gravedigger!!!!". I know, I know. They wouldn't put a picture of a gravedigger in kids' charades. What can I say? You speak, what you know. #murderinoforlife
Overall, it was a lot of work, but it was a really fun weekend. We did everything in our power to make sure that the littles got the full experience, of an activity that we love so much. I was stoked to know what my youngest thought of his first time camping. What memories we had made. So, as you can imagine, I was a little taken aback with the sleeping/bathroom response. We could have gone for a drive around the block and then he could have walked to our neighbour's washroom, and I guess we would have created the same memories. But, I wouldn't have changed it, for the world.
Does Mommy need to lose her shit?
Not this week.