The husband loves to camp. The children love to camp. I hate camping.
I will shop for camping supplies and gather campfire cooking ingredients. I will pack with ziplocs for waterproofing and gather gear for unexpected weather. I will unpack, scrub and launder the day that campers return.
I don’t camp.
I don’t need camping lovers to explain why they love the things that I dislike about camping. I do expect them to respect that my feelings about camping are different from theirs.
When eclipse options made it clear that the best experience for the youngest child would be seeing it from a rural campsite, I set to making it happen for him. From the very first “busy” excuse utterance, it was obvious that my agreement to go eclipse camping was needed to guarantee it happened. So, we went camping.
I don’t own camping equipment or clothing. I wasn’t about to spend money on a one time only event. I packed the blanket and pillow from my bed. I wore my cheap flip-flops and canvas sneakers. I bug-proofed my hair with an old bandana.
I slipped and slid down a hill outside of the bathroom facilities. I brushed my teeth in those facilities while the walls shifted because they were covered in camel crickets trying to outlive the mice chittering in the corner. I let the inexhaustible 12-y-o repeatedly drag me up and down the steep terrain while sniffing the air for the scent of the hemorrhagic fever victims that I was warned to avoid.
I moonburned my chest. It couldn’t have been sunburn. The husband put sunscreen everywhere not covered by the absurdly inappropriate leggings and cotton t-shirts I wore because I only own ‘moms who spend their days sitting in carpool lines’ clothing. I pretended to be calm and relaxed as bugs gifted me with miserably itchy souvenirs.
My toes blistered. My arms hurt. I’m still sneezing.
I killed my pedicure. My pedicure!
The eclipse made my eyes unexpectedly leaky. Everyone was happy. We camped. That should have released me from my obligation to do this ever again. Now we can hotel travel or take that cruise I’ve begged for since forever.
Two days later…
“You know, this wasn’t real camping cause we didn’t pee on trees.”