This year, one of our family adventures was a camping trip. Like, real camping! We joined 20 members of my family (uncles, cousins and next generation cousins) and spent the weekend in Promised Land State Park.
This trip was a little outside of our comfort zone – more specifically, this was way outside of my husband’s comfort zone. He’ll be the first to tell you, he’s not an outdoorsy guy and is much more interested in the idea of “glamping” over camping. But he’s also a perpetual good sport and couldn’t say no to our 3 year old daughter’s excitement for sleeping in a tent and eating s’mores for dinner. “We’re making memories for her!” I would repeat in encouragement.
Our neighbors lent us a family-size tent, an air mattress and a toddler-size sleeping bag so we were well equipped for the weekend. Once settled in, we enjoyed dinner by the fire, a few adult beverages and lots of s’mores. Eventually we headed off to bed, but that’s where the real adventure began.
After the heat waves of this summer, it caught me by surprise that the evening temperatures were set to dip below 50 degrees. We were prepared, but I was up every hour checking to make sure my daughter wasn’t cold. And every time I got out of bed, my husband woke up. And every time my husband woke up, he remembered we were sleeping outside. “What’s that light outside?” (It’s the moon, dear.) “Is it following us??” (Well, kind of…but it’s a little late to discuss the moon’s orbit.) His concerns, and our non-sleeping pattern, continued until about 4:30 am when we started to hear the first birds of the morning. Their chirping got louder as the sky lightened which only meant one thing was coming next. “Mommy? Daddy? Can we wake up now?” Oof. I glanced at my phone: our little cherub was ready to go and it was just past 5 am. Soon enough, we were up feeding ducks and watching the sunrise over the lake. As I prepared our coffee like a zombie, my husband nudged me and said, “Come on, we’re making memories for her!” Who could argue with that.