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We moved to Colorado from Chicago just over a year ago and we dreamed of going hiking, camping, and taking long walks along the mountains — all the while spending quality time with our kids (no tv, no distractions).  We were simply not going to allow our children’s ages (then a 3-year-old boy and 1-year-old twin girls) stop us. No way.

So, this past summer we took all three kids camping.  Albeit we were at a camp site where my sisters in-law (G-d  love ’em) had a camper set up. Still, our family unit was going to be sleeping in a tent. We packed up the Pack and Plays, all the special food (G-d forbid they eat normal food that everyone else eats), extra clothes and blankets and headed out with delusions of John Denver singing in our heads.

The camp site was gorgeous. The name of the park is Turquoise Lake.  How could you not fall in love with a place with that name and not have a fantastic time camping with your family? So we got there and said our hellos — after driving 2 hours in our CR-V with 3 kids. We were already exhausted at that point and we hadn’t even begun “camping.” Oh, and lets not forget the diabetic dog that came along who requires 2 shots of insulin a day and a very
strict diet (Why, oh, why would we NOT have a diabetic dog? C’mon.).

The kids were actually great all day. The girls’ usual bed time is 7 pm. We all tried to lay down in the tent as it got dark. We ended up not setting up the Pack and Plays and my husband and I thought we would each sleep with one of the girls and the boy could sleep somewhere in the midst of all the arms and legs. Sounds good, right? Well, no one would go to sleep of course. The girls couldn’t get comfortable and kept turning and moving and crying.  Each one would finally fall asleep on top of a parent and then the dog would move and everything was back where it started.  At some point, though, everyone DID fall asleep. We probably slept for a total of 5 hours. Ahhh camping with the family!

The next morning, we were still determined to make this camping thing work. We had a good morning, walked to the lake, rode our bikes … but then it started to rain. Our plans were to stay another night, but as soon as it started raining, we decided to call it quits and head home. Especially after knowing what faced us at bedtime. Everyone was disappointed, but we packed everything back up and called it a trip.

Based on this camping trip (and other activities), we’ve learned that often we rush things because we are just so excited to do these kinds of activities with the kids regardless of their ages and the appropriateness of the activity for their ages. We do this time and time again. Hopefully the now 4-year-old will retain some recollection of his first time camping and we can always say we went camping with 3 kids age 3 and younger.

Will we continue to rush things and cause undue burden on ourselves?

Or will we continue to rush things and feel like champions because we actually did it?

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Category: Family Free Time

Tags: camping