Water is unequivocally not a part of the images and emotions that the word camping conjures up for me. It occurred to me a few weeks ago that it’s different for my kids. All of their camping adventures have included water, either at a beach or at a lake. As kids we were lucky to have actual pine trees, forget actual bodies of water. It was interesting to reflect that for my monkeys, bathing suits are standard camping gear, every bit as vital as a sleeping bag.
We also have cousins nearby who love to camp and we often tag along with them and their super cool water toys. A few weekends ago we stayed at possibly the most perfect camp site, right on the water, and spent a wonderful night celebrating a cousin birthday and the start of summer. The weather was perfect and Tatanka gets better at this every time. Even if she was only too happy to leave early when I took Garyn to his Driver’s Ed appointment.
The water was the perfect temperature and we splashed and played with friends and cousins and their kayaks and paddleboards. Garyn and Neil drove up later because Garyn had a Driver’s Ed class. Garyn and I left early to get him to his first driving instruction lesson…teen drivers are a topic for a whole ‘nother blog post. With her handy dandy satchel, Naomi even rigged us a clothes line for when we were done and needed to dry swim suits.
Garyn arrived and got his fishing pole and kayak time in, pizza and brownies were had by all, and the kids built an illegal fire on the beach. We should have stepped in as the responsible adults we pretend to be and stopped them, but it’s hard in the face of so much cooperation and fun especially when they were all practicing proper fire safety. They were so proud of the fire they started and got the wood for. In that whole pack of kids there were a few hatchets and pocket knives so lots of jobs for everyone. Then one of the moms (next time I will be this cool) had packets of powder to turn the fire different colors. That was awesome! I was also introduced to the idea of a s’more on Ritz crackers. Fabulous.
We ended the night catching frogs. This is Layna’s new friend. She named him Water. It took some doing to explain that Water could continue to live at the lake and still be her pet. She was skeptical but came around eventually.
Night wasn’t too cold, but by morning it was chilly. I forgot hoodies so we bundled in blankets until it warmed up and breakfast was able to be a distraction. Layna could only be coaxed from her blanket cocoon with a plate of steaming pancakes and bacon. Not that I blame her. Garyn and I left, but the girls got to finish breakfast and swim some more before calling it a wrap.
I’m ok that camping for them means lakes, and frogs, and swimming. It also means cousins, and multicolored campfires and ingenuous s’mores. It all somehow squishes into pretty groovy childhoods and that makes my mom heart happy.