The New Camping Normal

This weekend was the first of our camping weekends this year. As always, it wasn’t long enough. This year, we rented a fifth wheel travel trailer that was new to our campground. It was so much more spacious and comfortable than the one we were used to and is in a much better location with a lake view and easier access to the park. It was perfect and hard to say goodbye to.

The weekend didn’t start off as perfectly as we had hoped, though. We were looking at a weekend of rain, so I left work a little early to get ahead of the system and have some sunny weather. Unfortunately, there was an overturned semi across the road that gets us there, and we spent an hour sitting in standstill traffic. Luckily, it still wasn’t raining when we got to the site. Unluckily, I realized I forgot the coffee maker, and we turned right around to go purchase one at Walmart. Nothing strikes fear in the heart of a mother like looking at a full weekend without coffee. Shudder.

When we got back to the campsite, we were all a little restless, and of course, it was raining. Still, we braved it, made our fire, and had our s’mores.  We had a small break in the rain and got a bike ride down to the lake to catch the sunset. There were several little kids fishing there, and I found a spot next to a group of them to sit down and enjoy the sight. Maddie, parking her bike, waved her little hand at me, motioning me away, and said “Moooom, I’m trying to make friends.” A little dejected, I moved away and left them to socialize.

The next day, they were on the hunt for new friends again. They met quite a few, and I had more quiet time than I have had in seven years. I colored a whole coloring page! I was even regretting not packing my book. It was odd and a little bittersweet. It seems our camping weekends will never be the same. The girls have officially moved out of the spending-time-with-mom phase and into the friends-are-everything phase.

Of course, Riley did come back to check on me and give me hugs from time to time.

All in all, the weekend was a success. Between friend visits, we got in some good family time, Riley tried to ride her bike without trainers for the first time, Maddie nearly conquered the monkey bars. As we pulled out of the campground, the girls waved goodbye to all of their companions and I waved goodbye to my peaceful freedom. With nature, an RV, large portions of time without being asked for something, and random hugs, what else could a mom ask for? Our new camping lifestyle fits us all just fine.