This weekend we will embark on yet another camping extravaganza. I'm still not sure why we do this to ourselves. Are we gluttons for punishment or just really really optimistic people :)...
... First there is the thrill of exhilaration when you finally get through on the Manitoba Parks website and secure JUST THE RIGHT camping locale. Oh yes, the one from last year. In the bush (ticks). With bugs (mosquitos). Little breeze. BUT the washrooms are close by, and that's a must!!
... Then there are all the nostalgic feelings of what kinds of camping memories will be made this year. Firesides. Time spent lounging at the beach. Great conversations. Enjoying the Great Outdoors. The thrill of cooking over an open fire (or coleman stove, which I happen to prefer!).
... However, as the weekend gets closer, reality sets in. Racing after running children. Trips to the washroom in the dead of night. Slogging through another teething issue in a campground surrounded by hundreds of witnesses.
... And gasp, we are still of the hardy few that use a t.e.n.t. Among families with children, we are a rare breed, I know. Before J and I had children, we would spend THREE AND A HALF WEEKS on the road, spending only one or two nights in a hotel. The rest - we lived out of our car and our cozy 4-man (read 2 people squished together) tent! But now, we prefer 2 nights at a time :). Sure there's the love of adventure and sleeping near the hard ground that makes it attractive, but really, we're saving the $10,000 you'd pay for a good used camper for our "rainy day" fund!!
... Yet, in this bug-eat-people world of ours, we do. it. every. year. Often several times. There's nothing like that cup of coffee outside (especially if mom has made it!), laughing around the fire side, escaping from the at-home-work (because folks, camping with kids IS WORK!!!), and giggling by another sand castle or splash in the lake.
Sometimes it takes a lot of effort to create some really great memories. And it is worth it.