I went camping over the weekend. In a tent. I did this because my beautiful friend Sharon is soon to be turning forty and a group of her closest friends had arranged to surprise her in the woods. I know that sounds like the start of a horror film but she was very touched.
I wasn’t completely enamoured with the idea of communing with nature in September in England. The last time I camped was with the South Norwood brownie guide troop in 1990. My overriding memories are not peeing for 48 hours, for fear that a spider would bite my bottom and begging my dad for KFC on the way home.
I camped. I did it because the need to see a smile on my wonderful friend’s face was worth wearing thermals. I did it because she is a friend I would camp for (‘You are a friend I would camp for’ - I’m thinking of getting badges made). I did it because the work and the muck was how I wanted to say I care for her. Which is why camping made me think about motherhood.
It doesn’t matter how many books you read you can never predict how your camping experience will go – maybe it will rain, maybe the ground will be hard. You can prepare all you like but at the end of the day you have to lean in and work with what the elements throw at you. When I was pregnant I read all of the books. All of them. The funny ones, the clever ones, the celebrity ones – nothing would prepare me for the trials of parenthood.
It rained, of course it rained. And we made it fun, we made it part of the adventure because what was the alternative, sitting and crying and allowing life to end something wonderful? I do this every day with my son, battle through the rainy bits, because I need him to know that he is beautiful and no matter what I will do whatever I can to make life beautiful for him.
At the weekend, when we needed to eat, we had to build a fire. No matter how difficult and boring it got we kept going and the perseverance made it better, because each night we could sit round that fire, get a little bit drunk and celebrate this thing we had made together. That’s the important bit. Camping and parenthood is so much better when you share the highs and lows and celebrate the wins as a team.
I’d like to think that as parents we’re one big team, working together to help another generation shine brightly. I so love hearing your stories because they lift me up on the days when motherhood feels like being alone in a tent in the woods.
If you’re a blogger and you’d like to share one of your posts please see the rules here. Last week Appealing rabbit offered to give a card game to our two favourites and those were ‘Our Battle with Ezcema’ from Pinks Charming and ‘Parenthood and Relationships’ from Baby Pixie and Beauty.