Backyard Camping 101

Last night my dear husband set up our tent in preparation for a camping trip to “air it out”. Of-course, the girls seeing this decide, “what’s the point in setting it up if you don’t use it?” And without clearing this little thing with me, my husband agreed to allow my babies to sleep outside in the tent. Now let me clear things up for you. Our back yard is big, untamed, unmowed, unkempt, any un you can think of. Just un.

So here I am imagining my youngest, ringing in at an unbelievable 9 years old, waking up in the middle of the night and laying there trembling, too terrified to venture forth through the wilderness (composed mostly of dandelions I’ll admit) to come inside for some mommy comfort.

So what do I do? “So you’re sleeping out there too, right?” This to my husband as he prepares for bed. I explained my concerns, then do a quick check; WAIT! This means *I* have to sleep alone! So I throw on some jammies, grab my sleeping bag and foldable mattress, and head out there. I shove in my ear plugs and hunker down into my sleeping bag – next to my husband and snoring children. Then I settled back and tried to sleep, pretending not to notice that the tent is illuminated by the motion detector triggered flood lights.

Even over the earplug silence I could hear: a car race, the freeway, a helicopter, emergency vehicles. So I readjusted the plugs hoping for more silence. A little better. Yet I could still hear AND feel another car race, more emergency vehicles, still the helicopter.

Man! We live in a noisy neighborhood! I guess the insulated windows have kept me sheltered from this fact. And yet, there, in the corner of the tent, lay my little angels snoring away. How do they do it? And nope, dh was not sleeping either.

Eventually I drifted off, despite the noise. After all, it was a lovely temperature out there, and I had my snuggly sleeping bag – the trusted old best friend that I will be sad to see go when it finally dies. When I woke in the wee morning hours (5 a.m.!!!! Gasp!) I noted my painful neck, shoulders and back. I glared for a little while at dh, snoring away next to me, until finally, at 6 a.m. his alarm went off.

And then not long after, the youngest sits up in her sleeping bag bed, from sleep to wake in 0 seconds “Hrm wha? When did you guys get here?” She was so cute in her confusion. And I realized, my babies *are* old enough to sleep in the back yard without us. Silly me.

A sore body and a cup of coffee later, I sit here ruminating on the night behind me. I’m not mad at dh any longer. It was a gift to see the ladies sleep so soundly, snuggled up next to each other (shhhh don’t tell them I told you this!). It was a gift to be outside on such a lovely night, noisy or not. And it was priceless to know that THERE IS NO WAY IN HELL that I can sleep in a tent, on THAT mattress pad, without a body pillow, without a sleep mask and proper earplugs. Absolutely priceless.

Bring on the camping trip!


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