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For the Love of Children

I'll never cease to be amazed by the things we do for our children. We miss events, spend sleepless nights, go without, watch obnoxious children's television (have the Wiggles died their TV death yet?), and in one recent case of my own... caught vomit in my bare hands.

Fortunately, that is not the topic of this blog. For the love of my children, I went camping. There is something that seems simple about camping and somehow epitomizes the family vacation. I worried for weeks about all that could go wrong out in nature. I fixated on the amount of dirt that would be involved. I played through my mind the scenarios that could cause a trip to the ER. I envisioned meeting a bear or mountain lion on the trail. And, perhaps worst of all, I imagined the discomfort in which I would sleep.

I was right about two things for certain: lots of dirt and very little sleep.

I don't know if there is any single vacation plan the involves as much work as camping does, and it's the one thing our kids want to do the most. Of course I love being out in nature! But does it really have to involve sleeping in a tent??? I've always laughed at the 60 plus crowd and their huge RVs, but I honestly think that may be the only sane way to camp.

Now I have friends that will disagree. They love shacking up with the kids in a tent on the ground (okay, I'm pretty sure they use air matresses). They don't mind the dirt, they use camping cookbooks, and they camp with both full or no accommodations. In my mind, these families have inherited a gene that I did not. I'll call it the "tolerance for dirt and discomfort" gene.

In spite of myself, I enjoyed our camping trip. Yes, I was bugged by the dirt. Sure, I wished that I had learned a few more campfire recipes. But my kids were thrilled. We experienced the beauty of creation in a new way together. We were away from all of life's distractions. We made memories.

Would I do it again? Of course! Just not without an air matress.

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