Vacations are funny things when you have Littles in tow. And since we know how to always make things as difficult as possible, we went camping in a tent for six nights on the banks of giant lakes and raging, deep rivers with waterfalls and rapids downstream, with a toddler. A toddler who loves water. And who, after being explained why she can't swim in the water for the umpteenth time, grabs my face in her hands, gets nose to nose with me and says "It'll be okay Mom," before taking off for the water like a bat outta hell. She's fast, spirited, and full of wildness that amazes and terrifies me all at once.
Vacation was not restful, really. Keeping her out of harms way on the rivers and the hiking trails and the woods was not an easy task. And when camping, there are still meals to cook and dishes to wash and it's even harder than at home without electricity, running water, and convenience at our disposal. Sleeping with everyone all in the same tent on one little air mattress that has a hole is not relaxing. And yet, I love it(maybe not the deflating bed part). I love the chance to get out into the wild and live a different kind of adventure for a short time. And I love the simplicity of it. The lack of choices and stuff makes things infinitely more difficult and better all at once.
We had no cell signal for most of our trip. We didn't bring computers along for the ride. Other than washing the one pot and four plates for dinner, there were really no chores to do. No distractions, only attractions. I had all the time in the world to listen to my kids and play with them and just be in the moment. The only problem with this is that I didn't miraculously get all of the patience in the world to go along with all of this time. If only vacations came with extra doses of virtues when they run thin.
But overall, it wasn't overly stressful and frustrating. We were all together. Team Us. And we had so much fun. The beauty and the magic we experienced was overwhelming at times. And even just a few days later, I can already feel the rough edges smoothing on the memories. And all of a sudden, it's funny that the potty training toddler pooped in her only swim suit on day one and had to wear Wonder Woman underpants swimming for the rest of the trip. And the number of fishing lures that Little Man lost on rocks and trees is entirely eclipsed by the two trout he caught in the mighty Rogue. And the aches and fatigue from not sleeping well on the ground with two kids melt away after a night or two back on our own beds, but the memories of giggles and snuggles glow brighter.
I'll be back soon. I can only hit snooze so many days in a row before this starts working!