Just back from a week camping, our first real attempt since having children (one cold, long night with my 15 month old daughter waking and crying every three minutes, in my mums back garden, does not count). We tagged on to my mum and sister-in-law’s well established camp that they do twice every year, for years now, along with my two nephews.
I will admit I was a little anxious. My daughter is not known for her adaptability or her ability to socialise. She is better known for her abilities to melt-down, be intensely emotionally needy and make you wish you’d never left the house, pretty much as you turn the key in the front door. My son is practising perfecting a tantrum. And if I’m being honest, I am a bit of a diva when it comes to camping, not usually that great at spending my time hanging out with earwigs, or freezing in an uncomfortable tent all night desperate for a wee. It is not unheard of for me to spend the majority of a camping trip sulking, crying or both.
We had such an absolutely amazing week though!!!! I loved at least 80% of it, and only hated about 1%. I did not cry once, and only had 1 little sulk. My children were, on the whole, incredible little angels, every bit the very best people they can be. They both adored spending time with their cousins, who they really do not see enough of, they were fun and sociable, relaxed and easy, confident and adventurous. They surprised me on a minute by minute basis by the things they tried, enjoyed, excelled at.
Considering I normally find time with my family a rather difficult experience where I return to being the very worst of my thirteen year old self, I had a great time with my sister-in-law, and a fairly stress-free time with my mother. I didn’t manage to avoid the family-dynamics entirely, but it was relatively drama-free.
We had pretty glorious weather, comfortable beds and warm nights.
I got a little burnt and we have all returned looking weathered after a whole week in the elements, running barefoot on the grass with the sun and wind on our skins. It has been great to spend so much time surrounded by nature, particularly some breathtakingly beautiful wild flower meadows all around our campsite.
The pack up was tough, with tired, stroppy kids and adults, the journey home was horrendous with my son screaming for hours till we gave in and bought them Happy Meals at a service station, only to have them bicker over the toys for the rest of the journey. And then the great unpack and clean up begins (though bless him my husband is down doing the majority of that while I’m up in bed writing this). My garden project is looking a little sorry for itself after a week of no rain, and the seeds I was hoping would be all up and thriving seem to have vanished. The house is looking at its messiest and I am aching to get back to my decluttering. I think though, that it was all worth it. I think this last week, may have been our own little slice of heaven.