Summer is here and for the first time since an abandoned water-logged tent in the middle of nowhere Wisconsin while nursing a newborn, we have decided to see if we still like to camp in a tent. Before kids, we did it a lot and really liked it. I'll be the first to admit I am a fair-weather camper. Major mosquitoes, humidity and heat and continual rain will send me packing, but when it's nice (you know, on those three days of summer where conditions are perfect), I am all for it. With little ones, I found my desire lessened. Anything that ends up feeling like more work than fun should be abandoned if it is supposed to be relaxing. But after the pain faded, there was one other attempt after Benjamin arrived but that, too, ended in bailing in the middle of the night during a down pour. Those combined experiences left me quite sour on the whole thing. But there was the pull to camp, still, so we decided to rent a pop-up and that worked. But...parents are silly. They get nostalgic for things they either did as a kid or always wanted to do and that's why it still seemed like a good idea to try the tent again. When we set up the tent in the yard and the kids go crazy. Soon half the house is in the tent and my kids are happy as can be. Surely this translates to- we want to camp! So...in a grand experiment of travelling light, we even managed to pack and travel on this latest venture in our small car. And survived. Despite rain every day, we had a great time. Lucy decided cooking was fun on a camp stove outdoors so I did none of it, Ben legally played with fire every day, and there wasn't a screen to watch anywhere. Other than some minor heart failure while watching my babies climb on water-covered rocks that seemed a little too close to a large cold lake, pulling a leech off the girl, and bandaging my boy's knees (twice) there were no accidents and the bugs stayed far away from us.
Home again, the kids still think we're camping. They liked being piled into the tent close together so the sleeping bags have migrated to our bedroom. Most night at least one of them will wake up at some odd hour and get snuggled in trying to re-gain that feeling of closeness. It's sweet, but I like my bed and I am not joining them on the floor. That will have to wait for the next adventure.