Growing up, the only camping my family did was in our backyard and even then we hardly made it through the night without someone retreating to the comfort of their own bed. As a teenager, camping meant going out for a weekend-long bush party down the road which had absolutely no appeal to me. Needless to say, save for a couple nights out with friends at a nearby campground as a kid, my camping experience has been pretty limited.
It’s not that I’m opposed to the idea of camping, but I’m definitely not interested in sitting in the bush getting drunk all weekend or tearing up the wilderness on an ATV. I always said, if I were to camp, I’d prefer to do it somewhere beautiful where I can go for a hike or go fishing or something too. Ok, I’d also like to bring my own bed and a bathroom…
This weekend, I loaded up the car with some borrowed equipment and headed out West to meet some friends for a camping adventure with Liam. After not having much planned for the summer, an adventure was needed.
First stop was a quick, kid-friendly hike to Whitegoat Falls. Liam wasn’t thrilled to go hiking at first (he was tired after staying up far too late the previous night), but armed with a scavenger hunt, he opened up to the adventure. We had a great time exploring the falls and watching the kiddos throw rocks and splash in the shallow water.
Next stop was onward to the campsite. We got our tents set up and a fire built in time to cook some dinner. The kids were content playing and riding their bikes around the campground before we ate and then we headed over to the lake for some evening fishing. Liam caught on quickly to casting and we easily spent two and a half hours sitting lakeside watching the kids fish and splash around in their underwear. It was a beautiful, calm, warm summer night with the sounds of loons calling in the distance. I think if you looked up the definition of perfection, you could find that evening. Once the sun dipped low enough to cool the air off, we headed back to the campsite to put on warm pjs and make some smores before bed. While it was well past bedtimes, the kids fell asleep in the cool mountain air with ease.
I wish I could say the same for myself. While I thoroughly enjoyed the days events, the tent sleeping part was not my favourite. I’m not sure I slept at all between being uncomfortable and worrying if Liam was warm enough throughout the night.
We were up almost with the sun and wasted no time building another fire for some coffee and breakfast. The kids had fun doing another outdoor scavenger hunt while we hung out before heading back to the lake for some more fishing and swimming. We couldn’t have asked for better weather for the whole weekend, spoiled with hot temperatures.
What would camping be without hot dogs? We roasted some dogs and some more s’mores before packing up the site and hitting the road back home. I think Liam was asleep before we even made it out of the campground.
All in all, it was a pretty magical weekend with friends.
Life isn’t always easy or as cool as it seems from pictures on the internet. I struggle a lot with Liam and behavior and it’s harder when our time together is limited. Most days I’m so anxious and stressed out that I have no desire to do anything and it shows in the lack of time I’ve spent working out and writing. I fear that instead of growing out of these behaviors, they will just continue to get worse as he grows up and it scares me because I hardly feel like I’m dealing with it well as it is. Because of these I sometimes fear that big adventures such as this weekend’s camping trip will end up a disaster. I said I would never take this kid camping again before we even made it to the campsite because of all the whining and not listening happening. But it was 100% worth it. Weekends like this are where our memories are made and I hope one day Liam will see how hard I work to make sure he has a fun, adventure-filled life full of love.
Maybe one day we’ll have another amazing camping adventure so we can make just as many sweet memories to replace all the bad times. Maybe that camping adventure will involve a cabin, with a real bed though. We’ll see….