I was going to write a New Year's post filled with sentiment and nostalgia letting all my beloved friends and family know just how much they have meant to me in 2011 and how glad I am to be facing 2012 with them in my life. But it's January 5th and that ship has sailed.
So instead I am going to talk about camping. That's totally just as good. Ya'll know I love you right?
Shaun and I are trying to buy a camper. Which of course we can't afford, but we can't really afford anything, so hurray for debt and screw the rest, right?
Nolan will be five in June and Aaron four two short months later. Kindergarten in the spring, every last sign of babyhood gone from the house. Even gave away a lot of the more babyish toys. I have kids now, not toddlers, not babies. Kids. I feel like time is slipping away. I'm seriously going to blink and they will be dirty, stinky, disgusting teenage boys hiding in their rooms doing god knows what. It doesn't bear considering.
So, camping. Time to enjoy them while they are young and slightly less disgusting!! We have wanted to take them camping but have been both too broke and too scared of the lack of sleep and of course the fear of changing diapers in a place without bathrooms. So we had to wait until we could buy a camper, which required buying a tow vehicle. And until we were diaper free. We've got the last two down and well, we wont really ever be able to afford the camper so, what the hell, let's jump in.
Ah, camping with the family. I did a lot of it as a child because my parents were also broke and in debt up their eyeballs. We didn't go to Disneyland, we went to provincial parks. And the odd national one. We sat around the campfire and had some of the best meals of our lives and listened to my dad tell silly stories he made up. In that rosy glow of nostalgic memory it was so utterly perfect. Wonderful days of childhood back when there were no real worries.
I wonder if it was really so much fun for my parents though. When I really think about it, I have to recall the time my dad had to set up the pop-up camper in the pouring rain and almost got electrocuted (because due to the previously mentioned lack of funds we had a pretty sad little camper) and my mother having to make all those meals somehow in a tiny little kitchen and do all the cleaning up too, since I am sure our lazy arses did none of it.
I wonder if camping with the family will be so much better when I look back on it then while I am actually doing it.
Really, if the kids actually sleep most of the night and nothing major breaks, I suppose we will be ok. We are going for the nicer-than-our-house (which isn't hard) has-it-all sort of travel trailer camping situation. No tents, hopefully no electrocution.
But the point is, these are the kind of things that make me wonder if all of the best of parenting doesn't happen in hindsight. The way we tend to forget the worst of it over time and see the past through those rosy glasses, the haze of time that makes us think only with that part of the brain that processes nostalgia for time gone by. You know, like how we all think things were so much better when we were kids. Because we were so utterly clueless about life and reality.
I'm sure that camping with the kids will be a memory I will treasure. I do look forward to it - but I am also ready for it to be less than perfect at first. If nothing else, I will be able to look back and think, wow, that was some fun camping we did. Remember how nobody died? That was awesome.
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