Camping on the Summer Solstice

We managed to kick off summer with an overnight camping trip to a nearby (2 hours) state park.

While the kids were a bit more squirrelly than usual, we had some fabulous outside time including a 2 mile hike along a trail sprinkled with wild blueberry bushes.

We still haven't backpacked with them, but I think that day is finally coming.  So far we have only car-camped, selecting sites along the edge of the campgrounds that back up onto the wild of the park, a trail, or stream.  I have to say that I have been spoiled by being able to bring a pillow (and all you can fit in the trunk of your car) with me - it makes for a much nicer night's sleep.

The kids are much more independent out there now.  And while bedtime is still a chore, gone are the all-night nursing marathons that kept them quiet and rested but left me ready to go home at 5 in the morning.  O is now requesting to poop in the woods and after this past trip (with multiple wildlife warnings everywhere we looked) both are well versed in what to do if they encounter a Black Bear.

I love that they are so comfortable out there, spending hours playing with a headlamp or hammock instead of the couple of toys brought along.  And I believe that the squirreliness and unexpected whining we experienced last week will lessen with 'practice'.

I'd like to do one more year of the car camping, moving to a 'cart-in' site next time, and then do our first backpacking trip as a family next summer.  I have visions of a hut-to-hut trip in the White Mountains before a true backcountry trip.  Hmmm...

Counting Down

It's amazing how quickly we adapt.  O has had his cast on now for 5 weeks and I forget what it was like before.  We've gotten used to accommodating.  He's gotten used to lugging it around.  We've gotten used to the once-a-week bath and he's gotten used to only having a couple inches of water in the tub.

But last weekend our swim club opened for the summer.  And we all began to anticipate the cast coming off next week.  So we started counting down.  And then I realized that the countdown to the cast removal coincided with the countdown to the end of school (for O at least, E will go for a week longer) and the true countdown to summer.

There is so much I want to do this summer.  Not so much of the 'let's go here and do this' variety - more of the 'Here is what I want to do better' and 'here are the experiences I want the kids to have'.  I've been reading Simplicity Parenting over the last couple weeks and loving it (and how much it is just the right time in my life to be reading it), slowly incorporating some pieces into our lives (and so happy to have some things we do already reinforced!), and looking forward to a new rhythm to our days when school is out.  So with this countdown (6 days!) I feel like I am counting down to a true transition (or two) around here.  I'll post more here to let you know how it goes - and to keep myself accountable!

Thanks for checking in.