I just kissed my husband and Jack goodbye. They are off to their first Father/Son ward camp out. This is a day I have been looking forward to since before I even had children. I always hoped to have sons and a husband who was an involved dad to take them out and so manly things with them. Now I don't care so much what kind of manliness they accomplish, I'm just happy to have a little mom break for a day. I still have Abe with me, of course, so its not like I will be chilling at the spa and sleeping in, but I can guarantee you that for the next 24 hours I will not see even one second of Star Wars the Clone Wars or accidentally sit down on a toilet seat that has been sprinkled with pee pee.
John and I are not campers. My idea of roughing it is a rustic cabin with toilets and showers but maybe we have to make a fire in the fireplace to warm the place, or wash and dry our own dishes. Not that I'm a snob, I have just never been a big fan of, well, nature in general. I feel like it is not entertainment to inflict unpleasant conditions upon myself. To me camping is like giving the finger to thousands of years of human progress. Did not our ancestors work their butts off specifically so we wouldn't have to sleep on the ground and pee in the wilderness? Also, I don't like getting dirty and I like being cold even less.
John and I have always been on the same page about camping so in all the time we have been married, we have never gone. John has always claimed to have grown up going camping a lot.
A few weeks ago we got the flyer for the Father/Son camp out and I was surprised that John was totally willing to go and take Jack. We got Jack all excited about his first campout and he has been counting down the "sleeps". John also invited his nephew Zak to go too which is totally awesome for a number of reasons. As the campout got closer and Jack got more excited, I could tell that John's excitement was waning. He looked up the location on the Internet and came to me and said solemnly "This is a crazy place to have a campout."
"What do you mean? There's a running creek and its in the woods and its not too far away. Whats crazy about it?"
"Its PRIMITIVE. I looked it up and there is no running water or electricity....nothing. Just the wilderness and us. I don't know about this."
I don't know why this was so funny to me. I guess because John is such a big tough guy and you'd expect him to be so much more of a camper. No electricity? He expected there to be electricity? It is camping after all. Then it occurred to me... all of his experience "camping" has been at like a KOA campground type of place. Like the kind of place where you can plug your appliances in and for a few quarters, take a cold shower.
I let him know that there was no getting out of it and reminded him that it wasn't like a week long survival camp. "Its just one evening and night and then you get up in the morning and come home. No biggie." He grudgingly agreed.
So today was the big day and let me tell you, you have never seen anyone prepare so thoroughly for an overnighter. He even had to go borrow his parents Expedition because our van wouldn't "haul enough cargo". After hours of packing I went out and looked at the "cargo". He had the entire Expedition so packed with stuff that Zachary would have to sit in the front with gear under his feet and the back seat was folded down except for one small space for Jack's booster. He had (among a LOT of other things)
a Camp stove with a collapseable table for the camp stove to sit on
A full size memory foam mattress topper
Half a dozen assorted semi-automatic rifles and handguns with accompanying giant boxes of ammo
Three sleeping bags, pillows, blankets, bedrolls
Two coolers of food
a flat of bottled water
Two laundry baskets full of warm clothes, plus a bunch of backup clothes for any weather eventuality.
He toyed with the idea of bringing a generator but ultimately decided against it because he was out of "cargo space". Its a good thing that it wasn't a family camp out because we would have to pull a trailer to accommodate the gear and make a place for me and Abe to sit.
I know it sounds like I am mocking him, and yes, I will admit to a tiny bit of mocking but more than anything I was just entertained and tickled that he is doing this for Jack and Zachary even though it is so obviously not his forte.
I can't wait to hear all about their adventure tomorrow. I know Jack is going to absolutely love it. My plan is to make this yearly father/son camp out a tradition and my boys can get their annual fill of the wilderness without any involvement from me. Next year Abe will be old enough to go too and then I will have a real break, complete with the spa and sleeping in.