Wednesday, January 03, 2007

indoor camping

(As with most of my pictures, this one is a stunt double. You can easily tell, because the books are too orderly on the shelves and there is a television in the living room. We don't keep a TV on the main floor.)

There is an author who writes for Dads and Homeschoolers. His name is Todd Wilson. Great guy. He is always sending practical tips on being a better husband and dad. He is also outrageously funny.

Let’s see, it was last year around Christmas. One of the ideas I got from his notes of encouragement was to have my kids “camp out” overnight with me in the living room. I thought it would be fun, so I did it. Man, was it ever uncomfortable! The Christmas lights may as well have been flood lamps. I barely slept at all! If I remember correctly, I had to work the next day, too. Big mistake.

So I did it again this year. Yup! ‘Cept this time, we slept inside a tent and I didn’t have work the next day (January 1). It worked out fine.

What do I hope to gain from this? I hope my kids can carry good memories of Dad with them. I hope to be a dad who makes his kids smile, even when he’s not there. Lord knows I make plenty of mistakes. I just want to make sure I’m not always too busy or critical. And if it takes goofy things like indoor camping, well that’s a small price to pay.

Right in the middle of the next cold snap, I’ll get a fire going out back and make s’mores.


Jennifer said...

Oh! I have no doubt your kids will treasure those precious memories with their dad! Because just this story takes me back to when I was little and our tradition was that we'd go camping in the back yard (during the summer).

We'd have an afternoon of setting up the tent--my sisters and me "helping" Dad, arranging our sleeping bags, and running around the yard with Daddy--excited about our "adventure" that we were soon to be embarking upon.

When darkness fell, we'd make camping pies using the grill as our campfire (Mom would join us for this). Then off to sleep in the tent! In our back yard! :)

Oh, what fun!! Thanks for recounting this story and bringing back to mind my memories.

L.L. Barkat said...

I was thinking today we could use a cold snap here (and not just as an excuse for s'mores). Somehow it is too eerie to drive around my green-lawned neighborhood. Like someone stole January.

Lara said...

My husband has the same philosophy. On the rare occasions I leave home for a night or two (usually writer's conferences) he takes the opportunity to infuse a bunch of fun into our girls lives. And yes, that even includes indoor camping, although he pitches the tent for them and then goes to sleep in his own bed. Still, same idea. I definitely think things like indoor camping make for good memories and good families. For the record, my girls and I had a picnic in the family room yesterday.

Anonymous said...

My boys LOVE camping with Dad. They do it in the backyard in the summer. It is a great time for them.

Craver Vii said...

Hey guys, I had a rough day today. Your comments are such a pick-me-up, and I wrote a response to each one, but then hit the "x" up top instead of "publish" down below.

So if it's alright, I'm just going to take a deep breath and walk away (from the desk) for now.

Anonymous said...

i'm with barkat about the cold snap. yesterday my five year old said as he looked out the car window at the 50 degree, green grass day, "mom, is it REALLY winter?"

fifties in dec. and jan. are a little creepy if you ask me.

L.L. Barkat said...

Off topic for this post...

You've just been tagged over on Seedlings. To understand this incomprehensible fate, stop by and read the post "Tagged."