We’ve been “camping” before, but our annual camp trip involves cabins (that we call cottages) and running water and air conditioners. I am not a stranger to camping in a tent, mind you, but it’s — uh — been awhile. By “been awhile,” I can tell you for certain that I have not camped in a tent since I have been with my husband. So that’s eight years. And the time before that was sometime in college. So, yes, been awhile.
Kmart was having a crazy stupid sale on all of their tents, making us super glad that we didn’t purchase one as soon as the new models came out. We left the store with our spiffy new tent and smiles on our faces about the joys of camping that awaited us.
It’s not that camping wasn’t great: It was! The boys were excited! They weren’t really impressed with s’mores (but who is?), but did dig some roasted marshmallows. In fact, they were most impressed with the fact that FireDad can not only put out a fire, but he can also start a fire.
They were amazed by things like lightning bugs, stars and the dark! Who knew it was so easy to amuse children on a camping trip! We should have been doing this from the get-go.
And I mean that. We should have. Because maybe FireDad and I wouldn’t have laid awake on our air mattress under our sleeping bags all night listening to noises. They weren’t scary noises. I wasn’t even (all that) anxious. It was rather soothing, and my train of thought went like this at one point:
“Oh, there’s a cricket nearby. And now the breeze is finally blowing; I wish it would have been blowing when we were setting up the tent because, man, we were gross and sweaty. And now the breeze is blowing the dew onto the top of the tent. Isn’t that a nice sound? So relaxing. And I hear something walking nearby. It’s probably a deer and not Bigfoot, even though the site we’re staying at is called Bigfoot Ridge. Who names a campsite something like Bigfoot Ridge? Probably my ex-boss. He really believes in Bigfoot. FireDad just snored. I’ll elbow him. He kicked me. What a buttface! I think I’m drifting off to sleep now… *brief pause* Oh, one of the boys just giggled in their sleep. Cute! Aaaand, I’m awake again. *insert cussing here*”
I mean, that whole “it’s been awhile” thing has come back to bite me in the doopa. I’m apparently not used to the crazy loud that is night time. I’m normally distracted from the sounds of nature when I’m outdoors at night by the nearby whirring of air conditioners or some teen’s loud music as he drives by. Not so in the middle of nowhere. Night silence is not silence and, man, it is deafening.
The boys slept like logs, minus the giggling and one flop-off-of-the-air-mattress issue. We, the adults, got some sleep. Kind of. Around dawn, which is apparently normal for adults who are camping. But as my kids rise with the sun, and it’s early flipping summer, the sun rose early and so did my kids.
Did I mention we don’t have a percolator coffee pot for camping yet? I say yet, because we’re getting one of those. Stat. Despite the kids sleeping well, I think they were tired too — and possibly needed some coffee — as LittleBrother wept when he dropped his PopTart. I may have laughed and taken a picture instead of opening a new pack of PopTarts. You know… maybe.
I was so exhausted that next day that I actually took a nap. And I never nap. And let me tell you: It was an awesome nap. The exhaustion of camping was quite worth it as I drifted off into that dreamless naptime sleep. I’m reading to go camping again just so I can nap the next day!
But I’m so glad we went. We had a blast. We’ll do it again. With a percolator. And possibly ear plugs. And sleeping pills. And lots of PopTarts. And Bigfoot spray.