My oldest son is fully invested in the whole camp experience. At the age of 8, he is now beginning a tradition that is almost a prerequisite for families with boys. However, I have very strong beliefs about this outdoor ritual.
You see, I hate camping. I’ve tried to enjoy “sleeping under the stars” and would almost suffer through the bug spray and dirt all for the sake of being “low maintenance”. Now, not only do I admit that I don’t like camping – I am a little suspicious when men claim to be “one with the outdoors”,
You see, camping is like a 2-hour Jazz Concert, or the “Complimentary continental breakfast.” It just sounds better than it really is. he truth of the matter is that it’s the idea of camping that sounds appealing… the smell of pine trees and marshmallows roasting, enjoying God’s creation by being one with the outdoors. It’s the little details they don’t mention—dirt in your tent, bugs in your tent—that represent the realities that make camping frankly, and sometimes literally, a pain in the neck.
So call me a party pooper. However, I refuse to believe that I am a bad mother and wife because I prefer a roof over my head in a home limited to the human species and domesticated animals.
After all, the average day in my house sees more than its share of wildlife. I married the bear I have to hide food from, we bought a coyote-size mutt that howls in the middle of the night, and gave birth to two varmints that tear up our home site faster than I can clean it.
What I will tell you is that, as the mother of two boys, I will eventually find myself out there, braving the elements in the pursuit of that oh-so fleeting title of “Cool Mom.” Somehow, I will manage to put the worm on the hook, whip up a meal of “beanie weenies” and trail mix, and share a tent with boys that smell like sweat and bug spray. It doesn’t mean I have to like it.