I’m often complimented or congratulated on camping with small children. I get it. Little ones are hard work at home, surrounded by their stuff and the home comforts. When you’re camping, even when you cheat and get an electric hook up like we do, you have to live with the basics. A younger me wouldn’t have enjoyed it. This me loves being unplugged for a few days.
Even better than unplugging, is unplugging the kids. Ok so Iris did watch a couple of episodes of Teletubbies on my iPad, but mostly the four kids just spent time outdoors. This was made even better by the chance for them to hang out with cousins who live far away and we rarely see.
I always feel shattered but somehow healed after a few nights under canvas. Even though I slept very little (on a deflated air bed!) and I’m absolutely shattered, I feel good. Don’t get me wrong, I am glad to sleep without having to wear three layers and still feel cold. But I miss the tent already and we’ve been home about 26 hours.
I think it’s because, in the great outdoors, I just stop caring about the stuff that irritates me at home. When Iris is covered in mud and grass stains, eats Pringles for breakfast and stays up til 11pm making her big sisters read A Squash and a Squeeze over and over. I just don’t care. I can let it go. The bigger kids suddenly develop a love for washing up, and there aren’t any other chores to do. It’s wonderful.
Plus there’s the grass, and the trees. The birds. Big hills. Campsite playgrounds. Campsite shops with sweets and ice creams. Finding bugs and spiders and counting their legs. Night skies full of stars with no light pollution. Other children that our children have short term but complicated friendships with. What’s not to love? I don’t even mind when it rains.