The joys of fatherhood are many and sometimes ironic. Ella is now two and loves loves loves the outdoors in every form. The latter fills my heart with joy. Now that summer is here, we celebrated Father’s Day by attempting our first family-of-four camping trip. Amy, of course, knows her way around the woods but hasn’t been out camping in almost three years. Joe has been camping since he was a similar age and also loves it. He’s a seasoned camper with quite a few tent nights under his belt. Ella, it turns out, is a work in progress when it comes to camping.
Everything went swimmingly up until nightfall; picnic lunch, short hike, exploring the campground, climbing on rocks, and looking at wildflowers. Dinner was prepared, campfire kindled, and s’mores roasted.
Then it came time for sleeping in the tent. That’s where our string of good luck ended. Ella has been a, shall we say, dynamic sleeper most of her short life. The excitement of the day and bedding down with her parents and brother coupled with no nap and a late bedtime… well, it wasn’t pretty. We ended up buckling both kids (one screaming, one sound asleep) into the car, hurriedly throwing the tent and all it’s contents into the car, and slinking out of the campground at 11 pm. Technically, we arrived home a different day than we left, but it hardly counts as a night of camping.
It was a real disappointment, but the first half of the trip was really great. We will try again shortly.