Camptown Lady


Last weekend we went camping. Just an hour’s drive up the canyon and we found ourselves in a tiny patch of beautiful, breathtaking, untarnished wilderness (fully furnished with a fire ring and water spigot, of course.)

We brought up our dutch oven and made ourselves a grand feast. We speared open that bag of marshmallows I’d saved and taught the kids the acronym GBD: Golden Brown & Delicious. We told stories around the fire unencumbered by televisions and computers. We watched the sun set–the whole show. And when the coals died down, we slunk into our slippery, silky sleeping bags all tuckered out–ready to gaze up at the stars until our eyelashes couldn’t hold our lids open anymore.

I love camping.

And then at 1am…

“Waaaahhh! I want my mimi!” (It’s back in the car)

“Waaaaahhh! I want more milk in my sippy!” (Also in the car, the last dregs of which are stashed in the cooler for our breakfast tomorrow.)

“Waaaahhh! I’m cold! I want to sleep in mom’s sleeping bag too!” (My mummy bag was already at maximum capacity with a fussy Dean in my arms.)

“Waaaahhh! For the last time, I don’t have to go to the bathroom!!” (Luke hollered this piece of news as he shifted from foot to foot clutching his 4T underoos.) And that’s when I thought,

I hate camping.

But the sun did rise, and with it my camp girl, can-do spirits. We hauled out the propane griddle, and soon the bacon was sizzling and the french toast was toasting. We snuggled up some more in our sleeping bags until it got too hot in there, and then we went for a short walk. Before we knew it, it was time to break camp and go home.

It’s an awful lot of work taking small kids camping, but we do it for the memories. For the childhood magic.

Paul and I once heard a story of a newlyweds who decided to go camping one weekend. Upon waking up, the wife asked the husband why she didn’t smell any bacon? Did he not bring any food? The husband stared at his wife and asked her the same thing. What’s for breakfast? They were each so used to somebody else creating the magic for them, it didn’t occur to them that that was their responsibility now.

That’s when Paul and I decided to take our magic making jobs seriously. The extra loads of camp fire scented laundry are but a small price to pay for kids who know how to spin a great ghost story round a fire and are experts at getting those marshmallows GBD.

It’s enough to make you want to do it all again s’more.


One response »

  1. Margaret,

    You are an amazing writer. I couldn’t help myself even at midnight but read most of your posts. I was chuckling the whole time! You really could have a syndicated column. I’d look for it. When I said something to Matt about how funny you are, he said that you have one of the quickest, best wits ever. Hope you guys are well. Thanks for visiting us last year. And I am enjoying my white sunglasses.

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