Recently we had a wonderful opportunity to join family friends for a few days of camping. We had a blast and it was a lot of fun at so many levels. Roughing it-or camping is something my two boys really enjoy and get to be all boy while doing it. Now, when I mention roughing it-that means going with our dual parent family friends who have an RV with air conditioning and a stove and refrigerator and many of the other pleasantries of life, like indoor plumbing, which this suburban woman is very accustomed to. Many experienced out doorsy types might not consider this type of camping roughing it, but for this single mom-it really is! Since I don’t have one camping item, no not even a tent or lantern, camping by myself would be very challenging.
My boys had a wonderful time fishing, bike riding, swimming and playing. I think it is so important for them to be able to do these types of activities, which really expand experience, and knowledge base. They were able to sleep in a tent, build fires, and one of my favorite activities-make smores at the campfire.
All of these things and especially the friendships that grew closer over the days and nights spent together make positive memories for all of us. Seeing how a dad interacts with his family was great for my boys too. As we were talking about the great time had by all on the ride home, one of my children commented about how he felt a little bit jealous of his friends because they have a dad there all the time to go fishing with and talk to and play with. This is not the first time this topic has come up. I have thought long and hard about how to respond to it, and find the best way for me is to tell him that how he is feeling is quite natural and normal. However, I do not want him to loose the fun memories in the sadness of not having a strong relationship with his dad, so I have told him that it is ok to feel happy for your friends because they have a dad with them and don’t feel sad like you do. In addition, I remind them about all of the fun things they learned and experienced that they will be able to hold on to forever.
Lastly, I mention that now they will know how to bait a hook, clean a fish and start a campfire when they are older with their own families. Yes, making memories are important for today and all or our tomorrow’s