Confession: although I love the idea of campfires, I really hate smelling like one. In high school, it was The Thing to gather around a campfire about every weekend and roast Starburst or s'mores while someone (sometimes me, many times not) strummed a guitar while the night got blacker and stiller.
Those were good times, when I chose to actually go.
Basically, I like the idea of a campfire (and camping) but not always the planning and aftermath of it all. Add in a baby to the mix, and I figured a full-on camping expedition might be more stress than it was worth this summer.
Luckily for me, this year's family campout with my side was only about a ten-minute drive from our apartment, allowing us to pick and choose which activities to participate in while still allowing us a full night's sleep in the comfort of our own home.
I know many others have taken their babies with them camping, but I quite liked going halfsies on the camping experience (especially after hearing how basically no one got any sleep that first night).
Sometimes I wish I was more gung-ho about the whole idea of taking a tent and going out into the wild for a week (okay, a night) or two--on the surface, the idea sounds so romantic and rustic and rejuvenating. In reality, I guess I prefer my full-on nature experiences in controlled doses, preferably involving close proximity to warm showers and indoor plumbing.
I know I'm lame for saying all this. I'm sure that as we raise our family, I will often take our family on camping trips (if for no other reason than that it's a cheap vacation, plus I do think it's an important rite of passage that every child should experience). But now that Raven is too small to be able to remember this particular time in the woods? I'll take a couple nights of s'mores and banana boats and go sleep at home, thanks! :)
Of course, this is not to say (Mom), that we don't love the family campout (we do) or that we don't plan on coming to it year after year (consider it scheduled for the rest of eternity).
This is just to say that this year, I'm happy we did it the way we did it.
Until next year, annual family campout---
Oh, and if you have any ways of magically turning me into Mrs. Happy Camper Herself, pass them my way---
It can't hurt.