Friday, September 05, 2008

Off To The Wild Woods

I don't remember if I mentioned Little Man's wish this summer. A few weeks ago, he was telling me how much he wanted to go camping. Little did he know how very much his sweet little wish hurt me. My other children, have spent their whole lives camping. I have pics of many a small babe, not even crawling yet, in my arms as we hoist the tent and enjoy the great outdoors. Campfire smoke, sticky, marshmallow-y fingers, brisk, cold mornings by the fire, laughter, dirty faces. So many memories slide into view when I turn my inner eye to the fun we have had camping. Not so much for us now. I think when Little Man was younger, we tried once or twice and then just never had the gumption to try it again. Our tent was lent out for a church activity and the high winds bent the tent poles into oblivion. I kept meaning to get it fixed, but it was never high on the priority list. Then, when we moved, we looked at it and said, never mind, and chucked it.
It hurt me deeply that our boy had to ask to go camping. Camping just was, when the other children were young. We are no longer a camping family I realized with sorrow. This new life, this one with our Little Man, struggles to just make it through day to day, much less adding the work of camping to it.
Add to it, our fear of Little Man falling to pieces and us being where a lot of other people are, and the possible repercussions from said falling apart, and well, you have us, this summer. A boy who wants to sleep in tent, and roast marshmallows and hotdogs over the fire and two tired and fearful parents.
But you know me, and I am not easily daunted in the face of something my child wants. So I began to call around and found, what I hope is the perfect solution. A camp run for people with disabilities and a family camping opportunity. No tent, but a cabin instead, but all the other things. Fishing, canoeing, swimming in a lake and best of all, marshmallow smores, roasted by the fire. The man I spoke with said if Little Man really, really wants to sleep in a tent, they have a tent we can borrow. Every single day this week, Little Man has asked if today, is today when we going camping? How many more days? This morning, as we do our ritual snuggle, I get to tell him, yes it is today, right after school, we are going camping.
It doesn't mean we aren't entering this experience with trepidation, we are. But, we are setting this up for the best success possible, and hopefully when we come home late on Saturday, it will be with pictures of grinning people, including one Little Man, who just wanted to go camping this summer.

16 Kids Who Want To Play:

Gawdess said...

oh I am hoping for it to be just great for you all!

Torina said...

I so hope you all have a nice weekend and Little Man gets the experience he was hoping for :)

Deb said...

Oh Jo, I hope it is everything he wants it to be and everything you hope it to be.

Have fun!

Yondalla said...

And my thoughts will be with you. Somehow I think that being off schedule will result in some difficult moments, but I hope that when he comes home what he remembers about the weekend is the smores and the lake and all the other fun camping stuff.

And at least you will be surrounded by people that will understand.

Jillene said...

You are such a sweetheart! I HATE to camp! We go once a year--on our ward campout for one night only. I sleep in the car--did I mention that I HATE to camp? Matt sleeps in the tent with the kids.

When my kids ask to go camping again--well I have my hubby set up the tent in the backyard, we roast hot dogs and marshmallows on the BBQ'er (you just take the grill things off and wolla there is a fire). And everyone is happy!!

elizasmom said...

Oh, I am so happy you found a way to fulfill Little Man's fondest wish. I hope you all have a wonderful time together in the sort-of wilderness.

Azul said...

I'm so excited for you and for Little Man! I hope you have a wonderful time. Let us know how it goes (as if you wouldn't ;) ). I'd love to know the name of the camp if it goes well.

We used to camp a lot as well, but since Chico's gotten older, we quit, for all the reasons you mentioned. I'm sure that knowing you're in a 'safe' environment with people who will be understanding instead of judgmental of Little Man, will make it a lot easier to enjoy the time there.

Adam and Kristina said...

That sounds awesome! I always loved camping as a kid, but now, as an adult, I realize how much work it is! And we don't even have kids.

Good luck!

Jill said...

How exciting for little man! I can't wait to see the pictures.
I could go for a smore right now.

Susie said...

Have a great weekend making more memories!

K J and the kids said...

YEAH !!! I LOVE camping. I can't wait to take my kids camping. I'm glad you are making his little dream that could come true

Mongoose said...

I'm really looking forward to reading all about it. I hope y'all had a great time!

Amber said...

I hope you have a fabulous trip! I can't wait to see pictures too.

Holly said...

Hope you had a wonderful time. Can't wait to hear about your trip, hoping it was all Little Man dreamed of. Hoping things went off without a hitch.

bon said...

Hope all his dreams came true.

Jessica G. said...

I hope he loved every moment...and that you did, too.

This post has me thinking...we went camping all the time as kids but now that I've had my own, we haven't really been...kinda sad.