Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Confession Wednesday (ish)

You're never going to guess what I did last weekend! (Unless you were there. Or I told you about it. So maybe you can guess.)

I took my kids camping! All by myself!!

Sort of. Maybe.

Actually, a whole bunch of families were headed up to camp together, but one family went up a night early. For reasons I still can't explain, I suggested to the kids that we join them (sans Mr. B, who still had to work) and camp for two nights instead of one. They readily agreed.

I LOVED camping when I was growing up, but it was one of the things (along with motorcycles and airplanes) that suddenly seemed less appealing once I had kids of my own.

For the record, I love the outdoors and campfires and waking up in the morning in a tent. I just can't seem to enjoy the massive amount of preparation and the never-ending cleanup that accompany the experience. Also, until this year, we've only had a 6x6 tent for the 6 of us, and I have yet to buy an air mattress that doesn't leak. Happening into a family-size tent and borrowing a camp cot both have vastly improved my affection for camping.

As I was returning from the pre-camp grocery run, Mr. B called my cell to tell me what he had packed in the van for me. Then he said, "I can't tell you how pumped I am that you're doing this!"

"I'm a little stunned myself," I replied.

I'm certain I wouldn't have attempted it without the knowledge that another family would be there (one that included our Home Teacher, no less!). Luckily, one of the few available campsites was right across the path from theirs, and even luckier, that good family helped us with our tent when we arrived in the dark.

I can't deny that I was pretty doggone pleased with myself the next morning when I made pancakes and sausage on the camp stove and set up the rest of our campsite before Mr. B's arrival.

The rest of the families trickled in over the rest of the day and we had a fantastic time. Absolutely worth the frenzied preparation and the truckloads of laundry.

Here's what I've learned in the last 2 months of Mr. B-less and kid-plenty air travel, road trips, and camping:

  • Beautiful scenery and singing with my kids can make me a little giddy, to the point that I might perhaps run out of gas or go 15 miles past a turnoff. Must pay more attention.
  • I have fantastic kids (I knew that a long time ago).
  • I always end up buying way more snacks than the kids will ever eat.
  • Making memories as a family is a very bittersweet feeling when one of us is missing, and when I'm missing one of us.
  • I'm beginning to understand what motivated my parents to take a three-week cross-country road trip with 8 kids in a suburban towing a tent trailer 20 years ago. (Not that I'm signing up for that one anytime soon. But I think I get it.)
When is the last time you surprised yourself?


Jenn Hedgepeth said...

You GO GIRL!! I'm proud of you and your bravery! I've surprised myself this week with the kids going back to school. I'm usually a jump right in and get envolved person but I'm pretty intimidated at our new school... know very few people and nothing about the teachers, politics, etc. I'm out of my confort zone and scared... SO WEIRD!!

Anonymous said...

Hi. I have a blog at where I feature people's posts about camping, and I would like to send my readers your way. Of course I would give you credit for quotes and would link back to your site.

Thanks for considering this,

Jean B. in SC

PS: Please check out our raffle to support KOA Care Camps for children with cancer @ Thank you!!

Jacque said...

I read an article about camping in the Ensign. The article heading was Joy in Nurturing Children. She talked about how time consuming camping is. She then went on to say that we need to give our kids as many positive experiences as we can so that they can cope with an increasingly challenging world. Hopefully it will make them better parents.
So I guess we go camping because our parents gave that gift to us. It's worth all the time we take and every memory we share.

Jill said...

It's been years since we went camping but we went twice this summer. It's always seemed like too much work and I miss my bed, shower and feeling of cleanliness way too much. But....I love how creative kids become when they are without TV, iPods and internet. They invented games and even TALKED TO EACH OTHER. Yeah for camping!! The fact that I can write that without laughing is surprising!