Camping in the backyard

A couple of weeks ago, the Golfer called home with a suggestion.

“How about I camp out with the boys in the backyard this weekend?”

There were two things that I liked about his idea. #1–It was all his own idea, not one that I had forced on him, and #2–That this idea did not include me. I love my boys–all three of them–but sleeping in a small tent in the backyard is not my idea of fun.

The boys were so excited. The Monkey asked all day long if it was time to put up the tent. Around dinner time, we gave in.

Since I wanted to make the experience as camp-like as possible, I tried to make them a feast fit for rugged outdoor men: orange slices, wheat crackers and string cheese, grapes, sliced hot dogs, and two cold glasses of milk. The Golfer lucked out with some re-heated pasta left over from the night before and some red wine in a plastic cup that we brought home from the Masters last spring.

After reading a couple of books (I scoured the shelves for books about camping, being with daddy, etc.), playing with the flashlight, and talking about the stars they conked out. The woke the next morning, the boys looking their usual rested selves, the Golfer looking a little tired. Backyard camping is far from peaceful when the air conditioner keeps kicking on throughout the night.

But the coolest thing about their camp out? The boys can’t wait to do it again. And lucky for them, we’re going camping for real next week and I’m going too. Of course there will be no tents, just a log cabin with running water and a bed. But there will be lots of S’mores consumed and lots of getting back to nature.

My kids are definitely nature deficient. It’s time for them to spend time running in a meadow, playing in a creek, and getting really, really dirty without Mom worrying about them tracking it all over the house.

I can’t wait…

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