When I was a kid, camping meant sleeping in a tent. Any other kind of camping was for the weak-hearted and simply wasn’t real camping.
On Friday, we went “camping.” In a little cabin.
I would like to have a little chat with young Katie, because my opinions have changed a little. Sleeping in a one room cabin with five other people, sharing a 2 ft wide cot with an 18 month old for most of the night, racing to get properly dressed in the morning to make it to the ladies’ room in the morning….that is still roughing it.
The plan was to camp overnight, in a tent, on our last available Fri/Sat before it gets cold, so that we could help Colin pass off a bunch of Cub Scout stuff. When there was a chance of rain on Friday, I changed our plans and decided to reserve the one little cabin they have a the campground 15 minutes from our house (we still only have the leaky tent we used last time we went camping 3 1/2 years ago).
We raced over there on Friday after school and work. We gathered firewood, made a fire, cooked over it, had s’mores, the whole shebang. The campground is close enough to a major road to hear the traffic (which kind of stinks), but completely enveloped in trees and absolutely gorgeous. One of my favorite things about camping has always been waking up and immediately stepping out into beautiful nature (even if it is to run to the bathroom). I think that if I did that every morning, I would be a happier and kinder person.
Oliver is usually really good about hiking, but he was exhausted and Chad ended up carrying him a lot since I had Carina in the sling. Towards the end, when Chad had to let him walk for awhile and Ollie was about to lose it, I handed Carina to Chad and offered Oliver the sling. Some four year olds might balk about squeezing into a baby sling and snuggling up to their mom, but that is not Ollie. He soaked it up, draping his arms inside, up against me, and laying his head on my shoulder. Every once in awhile he would let out a little satisfied sigh. I had to smile, remembering the hours and hours that little snuggler spent as a baby in a very similar fashion (you are going to want to click that link, trust me).
I don’t know when we will camp again – even with a cabin we were all exhausted and cranky by the time we made it home. Chad and I both agree that when our kids are five and up, it will probably be more worth it. But we did it, and the kids had a good time, and we made some happy memories. Maybe someday we will get a new tent and go camping “for real.”