There wasn’t room in my Post column (8/9) for the whole story on how I ended up packing the bulk of family’s possessions into the woods with my young daughters a couple of weeks ago.
For one thing there was the shocking discovery early last summer that the girls (then 4 and 6) didn’t really have a concept of what S’mores are. I was aghast at my failings in the parenting department and ran right out and bought a package of graham crackers, a bag of marshmallows and some chocolate bars. They (the s’more fixings, not my daughters) spent the rest of the summer in the same Target bag I brought them home in, being toted from condo to condo. It turns out that while most condos have fire pits or fireplaces of some variety, you dare not actually cook on them. We can’t roast marshmallow?! We thought management of these places were most likely part of Al Qaeda. It turns out those fireplaces burn run fuels that would make us sick if we ate anything we cooked over them. Even the best S’more isn’t worth dying for.
This summer was the time to take them out on a real camping experience, which to me means at minimum sleeping in a tent—and why shouldn’t I be the one to do it? Well as it turns out there are several reasons, not me. First and foremost not checking the weather report.
After a night in the tent in the backyard, the three of us took it a few minutes down the road from our house to Boyd Lake. I actually made dinner in the fire pit (which we put out with so much water the fire pit was full to the rim) before snuggling in between the two them in the tent and telling ghost stories. Their fingers still sticky with marshmallows, the girls were finally starting to drift off. Then a woman from a nearby tent (which incidentally was so big the girls and I figured there was a bowling alley in it) came “knocking” to tell us there was a tornado warning. Nearly asleep moments before, the girls were out of the tent running screaming through the lightening-filled skies before I could put the cork back in my wine bottle (what can I say, car camping is just another way of saying drinking in the dirt). Despite the sides of the tent blowing in so hard they were touching us, we stayed; and somehow, miraculously went on a backpacking trip a couple of weeks later. I say miraculously because when you’re backpacking you can’t actually carry in wine.