So, I went camping this past Monday. I made a checklist of things we would need. In the end, all I really needed was an Ark.
It rained extremely hard over the 2-day period. A water-logged son-and-dad combo do not make for a great buddy bonding moments. We ended up spending a lot of time in the back end of the Jeep as our tent was taking a pretty good pounding with the mini-hurricane we were in.
We were able to hike here-and-there, but not for long periods. This was my son’s first camping trip, I feel like a really sucky dad/anti-Bear-Grylls type.
I wanted him to enjoy camping–like I did when I was a kid with the old man. I have very fond memories of camping–with the camp fire. I remember looking up at the wide-open-clear skies, and watching the stars through the night. I also have great recollections of munching on s’mores it always yummy-fun goodness.
I know… I couldn’t control the weather, nor can I blame an extremely bad weather report, but I do feel I have let him down. I can only hope that–despite all that went wrong–he’ll look back on this as a fun time (and maybe he’ll even want to go again, if not with me than maybe with someone much cooler–one of those guys who could make a super survival lean-to that blocks out the rain-wind-weather). Probably he just needed a MacGyver-dad. I am sure my son would have enjoyed a camping trip with him, as he would’ve had wi-fi, electricity, heat, a/c, a huge bed, and a cabin–all fashioned from bubble gum and wrappers.
Instead, we had goldfish crackers in the back of our Jeep and fogged up the windows, which became the canvas for lots of toddler scrawls. We had epic tickle fights. And, we were able to watch the same 2 episodes of Dino Dan (more times than I’d like to think of).
Come to think of it, maybe–despite all the things that went wrong–he actually had fun. Maybe there is still hope for this clueless-in-camping dad… Maybe, just maybe, he’ll want to do it again. That might even mean that his first camping trip wasn’t the epic failure his dad thought it was.
I guess, sometimes, we look at the bad so hard that we don’t see the smile and happiness that is right in front of us.
“Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.” Charles R. Swindoll