Since the Lila was a tiny little babe, we’ve camped in the Spring and Summer. I wrote a whole series about “glamping” (or trying to glamp) last year, and I admitted some of the pitfalls of camping with little ones.
Sometimes they wouldn’t sleep.
Sometimes it would rain.
Sometimes I would be dragged to each corner of the site because my “barnacle babies” would be even more inclined to need me. Even if I was only a few feet away… that wasn’t. close. enough.
And then another camping season began. We loaded little boxes of cereal and blankets and gumboots into the trailer. I brought extra books and crayons and “contingency activities” should I have a moment of “For-the-love-of-all-that-is-good, JUST GIVE ME SPACE!” while camping.
But I didn’t need them.
I didn’t need space, either.
I had moments of, “Who ARE these kids!?!?”
They ran from the playground to the campsite, to friends’ campsites, to their bikes, then back again. Lila and Skyla (her partner in crime) marched up to our site and announced, “We’ve met a friend and his name is Owen and we’re going to his site and you WON’T BE ABLE TO SEE US. Bye!”
It was amazing and dumbfounding and….. relaxing.
My camping chair saw more use this trip than it saw all of last year.
And Lucy didn’t get her hair brushed once. We were all liberated in our own way.
The gang that we camped with is one that we’ve been camping with for years. The kids are all good friends, and are accustomed visiting each other’s “campers” (as Kaleb calls the trailers).
A mom had a sudden realization, “Let’s get a picture of these kids! We need to capture this!”
Taking a picture of 8 kids at a time?
Sure. No prob.
They all posed cooperatively.
And we got the babies in the shot easily.
Even the littlest ones…
… and finally, we gave up.
Who wants to roast marshmallows?!?!?
Today, as Mr. Suburble and I unloaded our baskets of smelly laundry and dirty socks, we thought to ourselves, “That was actually kind of easy.”
It’s almost unsettling, really. Shouldn’t camping be MORE work than at home?
I think I’ve been brainwashed to believe that.
Inspire Me Heather
Oh Tara, your camping trip looks like it was fun for everyone! I knew exactly what you meant too, we experienced the same thing with our son (but we boat, not camp) and it’s great now that he “hangs” with his buddies and away they go until they get hungry. Your gang looks like they are all around the same age and it would be cool for them to all meet up every year. Lot’s to look forward too!
It must be the age then, don’t you think, Heather! I’m amazed at how independent the girls are this year. Last year was so much more work, and this year? It was like an actual vacation.
I almost didn’t know what to do with myself. I even looked a magazine!
What a fun post!! I grew up camping with my parents and three siblings – all six of us packed into a little tent trailer. And you know what? Those are some of the best childhood memories I have, so keep up those awesome camping experiences with your kids. Happy summer! 🙂
We grew up camping too. I have so many memories of crashing through the bush and swimming in the lake. And this year, now that the girls are needed less 24/7 attention, I’m feeling like camping is something that I’ll want to do more of in the coming years. The girls already love it, and i’m just starting to rediscover why camping is so wonderful.
Jen @ RamblingRenovators
I grew up camping and would love to take my daughter camping too, but my husband is more of a cottager. You make it look positively easy. I might have to make him read your post 😉
Well… I will admit.. it wasn’t exactly “easy” the past few years, but we had good times. However, at this age (and I think that your Miss C is about the same age as Lila), it feels like an actual vacation when we camp. It’s what everyone has been promising me; I can sit and have a glass of wine and read a magazine and my kids will run off and play and get dirty.
If your hubby isn’t into the whole “sleeping in the dirt” thing, you should consider renting a motorhome! We go “glamping” in our camping trailer… tents are for suckers! 😉
I have such fond memories of camping with my family when I was a kid. Bike rides, and pie irons! (p.s. if you haven’t heard of pie irons, they are the best thing ever! Google it!)
I have no idea what a pie iron is. Googling right now!
Ahhh so fun! I absolutely loved camping as a kid and still love it now! So glad you were able to find the joy in it again and relax in that camper chair!
Joann @ Woman in Real Life
Sweet pictures! My kids love camping with buddies. We don’t go often though, because we go tent camping and I got tired of getting rained out! I really want a trailer! 🙂
Looks like a great time! I can’t wait for our camping trips to be like that… and btw I know Lucy isn’t a baby and hasn’t looked like one for a while, but I can’t believe how grown up she is in these pictures! Man time flies!
Tara, this is great! I’ll have to read your camping series. I used to always camp but I have yet to take my kids camping ( 5 & 2 years old). I know, so bad. I always imagine it a nightmare and just say next year. Maybe I should give it a try this year 😉
I;m so excited to haul out our camper! The kids even have a blast pretend camping in the yard. I can’t wait for smore season to arrive. P.s. it was -2 here last night, I think we’ll wait a few more weeks!
Those are the times you’ll always remember. I always find the camping part is easy, it’s the mess when I get home that I don’t like so much!
Tara, what fun! Camping is so liberating….the time to unplug! Your beautiful girls are growing up and turning into amazing big girls!
So fun!! It totally makes me want to take my kids camping… which I think I will be doing most of JULY… except for one fun adult adventure!!
Dani @ lifeovereasy
Sounds like so much fun! We have great memories from family camping trips. I’m sure you have many great years ahead. My girls still love camping!