Seventy billion pieces of washing, 70 billion toilet runs and gallon upon gallon of food. No, you’re not running a boarding school or managing a small country. It’s called ‘camping’ with kids – four, to be precise.
If you have one child, you might be blessed with a mere 20 billion washing load, only one midnight toilet run (aka pee behind a bush or if it’s really dark, next to the tent…but always keep a plastic bottle or cooking pot at hand just in case) and maybe not gallons of food but the truth of the matter is that camping’s a biyatch, no matter the quantity of child. You’ll be building, serving, ferrying and feeding until sun down. Sound like a normal ‘day in the life’? It’s not. It’s harder…because you have no reprieve; there’s no hot bath with a glass of wine and bubbles or a comfy couch and a book.
Plucking your eyes out sounds more appealing – right? True. But before you leave your plans out at night to be devoured by wolves in the hope that something better comes along…well, just don’t. Not yet. Because camping offers something else; not rest (hells no) but joy. Real joy – as in; not the kind that makes you happy and smiley all day long. Rather, the kind that flows through the fibre of your being, infesting your soul with contentment. That kind.
As parents, we know full well that deep-seated joy doesn’t come easy. Children are tough from the get-go; getting them into the world is a fight, getting them to sleep is a fight, getting them to listen is a fight but we love them, desperately, madly, deeply, and in spite of ‘the fight’ they make us deliriously happy. Watching them play and run and imagine – freely – is magical; joyful. There is just something about being in nature that swells the heart.
Also; good friends, whisky, fire, marshmallows and coffee (all at once, if possible) make everything OK (even packing up a stupid tent).