When each of us - myself and three siblings - turned three we had officially "come of age" to be ripped from my mother's arms and be carried off by my father to go on overnight camping trips in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area of northern Minnesota. Here we would get nestled into the middle of canoes, amongst the gear and coolers, drag our tiny hands in the water, attempt to paddle with kid-sized oars, dip mini-fishing poles in, watch the big people set up camp, sip hot chocolate under tarps in the rain, watch my dad and his twin brother chase off black bears, listen to the loons sing, sing campfire songs, and praise God together under a million stars.
My dad taught me, from that tender age of three, the spirituality of the wilderness.
Finola is not three yet. (She turns two today!)
I don't think I could let her be whisked away to the wild.
But I do want her to start young.
So instead of a birthday party this year, we went camping.
Just for one night. Just a tiny taste.
It went by quickly and was a lot of fun! Except the part where, at 10pm, waaaaay past their bedtime, the kids were expected to go to sleep in the tent. Cormac only fought it a little, but lil miss Fin ran around the tent, chattering, giggling and poking me in the face. Finally I heard a yawn, she asked for her blanket, which she had been tossing around, and she conked out.
Then Hubby and I had a beer by the fire and congratulated ourselves on a successful first attempt at tent camping with the kiddos.
We can't wait to go again!
|fire-making with dada|
|checking out the sights|
|child with hot poker in the fire - this looks totally safe, right???|
|mama hovering around the fire, afraid of blond locks going ablaze.|
|contemplating nature and life|
|eyeing her mama's beer|
|while not super primitive, it was very peaceful|
|these two...the conversations they have!|
|I kept saying, "Run wild, my child!" which she did, while repeating that.|
|Colbie liked relaxing, too.|
|going in and out of the tent was a favorite activity. I'm surprised we didn't sleep with a million bugs.|
|campfires are magnets for kiddos. just sayin'.|
|we did the whole "stick the bean can right in the fire" thing - turned out well...and less dishes!|
|Hubby makes a s'more.|
|We got a little wet from the morning rain!|
|"The humidity does wonders for my curls!"|
|"Here Finola - have a marshmallow! I have a whole bag!"|
|"Fine, I'll eat them all myself."|
|Breakfast of champions!|
|packing up...a little earlier than expected, due to rain!|
|While he wasn't too helpful packing up, he did build this contraption in the trunk.|
I am pretty sure one night is all Finola could handle (while we were stuck in the tent during a morning rain shower she shouted repeatedly, "GO HOME NOW!") Cormac, however, was asking if we could stay "five more days."
Three, man. I'm telling you. My Dad was right - that is the "magic camping age."
Or simply when we were potty-trained and he could hold us over the side of the canoe to pee-pee.