Daddy & I love camping. In fact, daddy bought me a tent for my 21st birthday. Before you were born, we went camping every summer. Since you joined our little family, we've been fearful of what camping might be like with a little. Would you be able to fall asleep at night? Would you wake up at the first hint of dawn? Would you miss your toys & books & electricity & be crazy bored at night?
We decided a backyard camping night would be a good test. Our summer has been pretty full, but this past Saturday night we squeezed in your first camp-out. You & Daddy set up the tents. He looked a little exasperated at times (I was inside cooking dinner), but you guys got both tents up. To add a little Emma style & flair, you decorated the inside of our tents. You & Nonnie had worked hard that day coloring numerous pictures for our tents, & our friend, "Aunt Erin," helped you tape them in the tent.
We ate outside with Nonnie & friends on our patio. I have to say, it was one of the best looking camp sites I've ever been to.
After dinner, Daddy got a fire going in the fire pit. We sat around & roasted marshmallows & made s'mores. You had more than your share, & that may have contributed to the bouncing energy you had. You were giddy with camping excitement. You begged to stay up until midnight. Daddy gave me a look that said "that would be the worst possible thing we could let her do," & I happily agreed to a midnight bedtime.
I suggested we lay on the hammock & quietly look at the stars. You swung & bounced us around on the hammock until I was fearful of my life (& absolutely covered in the drink I was drinking).
Eager to share your exuberance, I suggested that Daddy would be able to better point out the constellations. The two of you sat in an Adirondack chair as he pointed out the big dipper & various other star formations.
At 10pm, I declared it was midnight & time for bed. "I stayed up until midnight," you happily declared. We snuggled together (on an air mattress) as I read a few chapters of Magic Tree House book we had been reading. We said our prayers, & I tucked you into your sleeping bag. I turned on your sleep sheep, & we all quickly fell asleep to the sound of the ocean.
To my surprise, you slept until 7:30 the next morning. Once you saw "Aunt Erin" & I were awake too, you happily joined us on the air mattress. We snuggled up & read a few more chapters of The Magic Tree House while every one was waking up.
To me, our camping experiment was a great success. You didn't wake up at dawn. Daddy was a little more hesitant to declare our test a win. He worried about your exuberance & loud bellowing nature from the night before. "Maybe we can try this again in a few years," he suggested.
You didn't want to wait a few years. "Can we camp out again tonight," you asked with such an excited look on your face. I talked to you about Daddy's worry about you being too loud at night. When you're at a campground with lots of other people, you can't yell & scream. You'll keep everyone awake. "Oh, I'll be much quieter the next time, Mommy," you assured me. "I was only loud this time because I was excited about my first time camping. Next time won't be my first time, so it will be much less exciting."
Ha! Well, I guess if that's the case, we better look into booking a real camping excursion later this year.
I love you so,