Wednesday, May 2, 2007

It’s All About the Amenities….

For birthday celebrations in our family, on even-numbered years the kids get to have a birthday party with friends; on odd-numbered years we do something fun with the family…. My middle child, Brock, just turned three. One of his birthday gifts was his very own sleeping bag, so for his fun family activity, he wanted to go camping.

Now, I’m a girl who likes adventure… I remember camping (I’m talking about real camping here – no cabins with beds, or bathrooms with running water, etc.) with my own family in my youth, going with church members to girls’ camp each summer of my high school years, camping in college (in several feet of snow once, no less), camping with my husband before we had children, camping once when our oldest was a baby….. And that’s about the time our family camping experiences came to a screeching halt!

Maybe it was that I was just starting out my pregnancy with Brock, and was very frequently feeling nauseated…. Maybe it was having to pack the entire house for only one weekend away (as is often the case when traveling with a baby or small child)…..Maybe it was having a toddler still in diapers just agile enough to find and encrust himself in every single speck of dirt within a 5 mile radius (and having nothing more than wet wipes to try to clean off with)…. Maybe it was the unbelievably insane number of yellow jacket bees that had apparently chosen to overtake Yankee Meadows, UT and swarm anything even resembling a life form over Labor Day weekend that year… Or maybe it was a combination of all of the above, but suffice it to say – that was a truly MISERABLE camping trip, and for some reason, I just haven’t had a real strong desire to go camping again since….

But, a three year old with a new sleeping bag has to try it out, so camping we did…in our own backyard. Talk about the best of both worlds! We pitched the tent, ate outside, roasted marshmallows over the fire pit and dined on late-night s’mores – the whole camping experience for my kids – with a running faucet and flushing toilet just through the back door. And other than dragging the tent and camping equipment from the garage, I didn’t have to pack a single thing! It’s all about the amenities… With kids, that’s my kind of camping!

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