“This is one of Mommy and Daddy’s favorite things to do. We want to share it with you and have fun together.” I explained to Parker as she completed round 2 of timeouts in the car. She nodded and smiled, apologized for whining and fussing, and we returned to blissfulness at the picnic table.
Camping is one of our favorite past times and this was our practice run for Parker. My husband figured it would be better to start with a day trip to a camp site and see how she managed. Although, right away she began asking where is the tent and how are we going to sleep? Her curious mind was satisfied with our explanations to only stay out a while and not all night, then she jumped right into collecting twigs for helping Daddy to start a fire.
For a four year old, who seems constantly stimulated by toys, puzzles, books, electronics, music etc. It was quite an adjustment for her to create her own fun, to explore in nature and to sit still to watch the fire (for about 20 second intervals at a time). In hindsight, I could have brought more toys to help her stay content. After all, there are only so many times you can fill a hallowed acorn shell with water for the Frozen Anna doll before that gets old. Or maybe it was just a perfect way to demonstrate to her, you don’t need “things” to have a good time with people you love. During our camping adventure, Parker and I hiked in the woods. Or should I say she waddled down to the lake and then clung to my back like a koala bear while I clawed my way back up the steep ravine. She assisted Daddy with gathering supplies and cleaning up. She observed other camp goers and commented on the super swanky RV’s, “Can we get one of those?” And of course, she devoured the always necessary camping dessert. Except as soon as her s’more started falling apart and getting her fingers sticky, I had to be the holder while she took bites and then carefully wiped her fingers and lips back to unsticky perfection.
It was a wonderful idea my husband initiated on a beautiful fall day. The outing was a reminder of what we do together when we are having fun, being adventurous and working well together as a team. On our sixth wedding anniversary, I am so thankful to continue to do the things we love to do together and to get to share this experience with our daughter. Cheers to six years, to camping out, to cheese and crackers, to being more of the best and less of the rest, cheers to daily celebrations of happiness and to many more anniversaries (and campouts) in the future.