I Heart Camping

Possum is 6 years 9 months

Bandicoot is 4 years 7 months

Little Princess is 2 years 1 month

 

Tonight it is raining.  It isn’t torrential, as it was last weekend, but it is certainly steady.

And in that little, selfish corner of my heart I am so relieved.

I haven’t actually been praying for rain; I wouldn’t let myself do that; but I certainly have been hoping.

You see, we are meant to go camping this weekend.  Camping.  You know, where you spend ages assembling that temporary home, have kids walk muck all over the beds, sleep on the ground, get woken too early…  THAT camping.

The thing is, I don’t really like camping.  I think the worst bit is, there is just so much STUFF.  I mean, like, really, LOTS of stuff.  I am the Mum who carries one of those mega Ikea bags when I go to the park as it is (yes, be prepared, you never know what will happen), so you can just imagine how much stuff I need to go camping.

It isn’t that I hate camping.  I used to hate camping.  Before that, I used to love camping, but then I had a terrible – really TERRIBLE camping experience, so I hated camping.

That one was when I was a Uni student in Canada.  A whole bunch of us decided that we would go camping at the end of winter term.  It would be spring then, so nice for camping, right?  There was a large group of us planning to go to Algonquin National Park.  Of course, at the last minute, all the locals pulled out and left us foreigners in for a treat.

I had the added bonus of being the lone remaining girl in the group of five intrepid campers.

It was cold.  It was miserable.  The lake was still frozen.  We had had our heads filled with stories of bear attacks.  And the guys we were with decided to tell me that there were no loos, so we had to dig when we needed to go.  Not that we had a spade.  Oh they had some fun with that little gem for the first three days.  (Yes, we camped FIVE nights like this.)  It was so cold and windy that whoever slept on the side of the tent spent the evening blown onto the person beside them and the next day in the car with the heater running trying to warm up.  Fortunately we rotated that position.

It really was awful.  Very pretty, but really, really awful.

So I avoided camping quite happily for many years.

And then I hooked up with DH.

Now DH is a wonderful bloke.  In most ways I am so blessed that I have him.  But when it comes to family holidays, I really think I married the wrong man.  To be fair, he probably married the wrong lady, too.

For example, my idea of a fun, family holiday involves a house at the beach, the car staying in the garage from when you arrive until when you need to go home again.  A big night might involve the local pizzeria.  DH thinks a 9 hour flight and backpacking through Asia would be fun with the kids. *ahem*

Now, DH and his mates LIKE camping.  Not this cushy “car camping” thing.  Oh no.  It doesn’t count unless you have trekked for miles, carrying a heap of stuff on your back and get to spend the night in the middle of nowhere with nothing but your bleeding feet and bleeding shoulders and a bunch of scary snakes to keep you company.  THEN it is fun.  (Disclaimer:  This may be a slight exaggeration.)

Strangely, I declined the offer to join the more hard core outings.

And then a group of my friends thought that camping would be a good idea.

To be honest, when we camp it is much more civilised.  It involves a camp ground.  It involves relaxation.  It involves a lot of posh stuff, in some of their cases.  It also involves about twenty kids Possum’s age and younger.

The kids LOVE it.

Even I have been known to have fun.

And so, when they booked the latest weekend, I committed to it.  Surely it will be alright on the night.  Only, this week – oh the dread!  All that planning and packing.  It is completely overwhelming.

DH finds it amusing, and also frustrating.  I think he is the only one who really has any idea how overwhelming packing is for me.  To go away for a weekend, I spend a week nauseous with anxiety.  It is completely stifling, sometimes paralysing.  Even the afore mentioned trip to the park takes a couple of days to mentally prepare, and a few hours to physically prepare.  How do people take their kids to the park every day?  So you can imagine what packing for camping is like.

So this week, I have been hoping like crazy it would rain.  Praying for it would just be selfish and mean, but hoping… well what else is a girl supposed to do?

And tonight, as even the most hard core of the group have decided to pull the pin (apparently severe weather warnings and flash flooding are a bit too much with kids) I am doing my little happy dance.  It is disappointing to be missing the get together, but I am so RELIEVED that I don’t have to prepare for the event.

Time now to curl up with a warm drink and listen to sound of fairies dancing on the roof.  Aaaah!

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