It’s official. We are now a family who likes camping. (Who’d’ve thunk it.) Bigger than that … We’re a family who keeps on trucking even when the outlook is bleak and then we find a way to make it work.
There was some trepidation about going camping. No-one was sure it would go over well. We hadn’t ever been before and there were to be 8 adults and 4 children. All of whom didn’t know each other. Personally, I knew the company would be good. Living out in the woods for 3 days didn’t sound so appealing but we were all up for the adventure of it.
I was also pretty sure Ace and Jay would love it. Jay is my mess/dirt/bushes/sand lover. He’s a bit of a sensory seeker. Ace, not so much. Not so much at all. He does like water though, and he’s a fan of having other kids around and he loves to be active. We watched the weather report nervously. There had been thunder storms all week leading up to the trip. There was even some hail. It’s bad enough that we were going camping, now we are going camping in rain????? It came up a couple of times that maybe we should call this off. Or at the very least rent a cabin in lieu of tents. We assumed it would be wet and muddy and there would be bugs. The weather we were having wasn’t what we imagined when we 1st agreed to do this. I didn’t expect to pack ponchos and rain boots.
But … we loaded up our umbrellas and we went.
We left later than planned and as a result we fully expected to get caught in the usual Friday afternoon Jersey Shore mess. Guess what folks?
*The traffic heading south was fine. (Maybe thanks to a rainy week)
*There was no rain all weekend at the camp site. (Except for a slight drizzle when we 1st arrived)
*The ground was not muddy. (It was moist and the perfect consistency for kids who want to dig and make mud pies but it was not yucky muddy for adults who want to keep their feet clean even if all we’re wearing are flip-flops. Win Win)
*There were no bugs. (None during the day and none at night that 2 small citronella candles couldn’t handle. No-one used bug spray at all. So basically, NO BUGS!!!)
*The days were warm. The nights were cool. There was lots of alcohol and there were happy playing-outside-and-not-watching-TV kids.
*Of course, there were s’mores. (Of which Ace ate none as they were too messy)
*There was fishing and swimming and sprinting races.
*There was laughter, board games, teasing, good food and to top it all off …
*There was no traffic on the way home either.
… I broke the trip down quickly and easily because I needed to make space for this part …
We were so nervous about what to expect. After all it didn’t start off at all like we planned. But the things we were most nervous about were the things we had no control over. The weather and the bugs. In the end, we all had such a good time that on the ride home people were already asking when we’re going again. The rain actually turned out to be a blessing I think. Re-read the part about the no traffic and the mud pies. 🙂 Also, the clouds made it possible for Jay to enjoy the beach. I know I said he loves the sand and all that but he does NOT love the sun beating down on him. The fact that it was mostly overcast made it perfect beach/outdoor weather for my boy.
Here … Delete the camping trip and insert life. So many things have not gone according to my plan. S o many things have been different from I expected. But life happens. It’s not always pretty. But instead of throwing your hands up in defeat, you can still look for the good. A lot of life is not something you can control. We didn’t see autism coming. We certainly didn’t get to choose the level of it or how it affects Jay or us. We got what we got. I don’t hink you should let what life hands you stop you from making the best out of every situation and who knows … You may get some unexpected gifts.
Yes, we’ve had to change the way we do some things. Yes, some things are (really) hard. Yes, (more than CC), I get tired and frustrated and angry. We plan and then we re-arrange, we child-proof, we are extra vigilant, I have become a scheduling expert, we have learned triggers, we know to always have fruit snacks available, I pack extra everything (just ask CC), but we keep it moving no matter what the forecast says. We take the good stuff and run and then do what we can to minimize the effects of the bad stuff but we don’t ever quit. We do all we can to enjoy life and to ensure that our children enjoy their lives. If not we would most certainly miss out on some amazing moments. Like going on a camping trip in the middle of a thunderstorm.