Friday, April 20, 2012
Notes on camp
This weekend Lindsay is taking our younger daughter camping at the zoo. What a saint, right? It sounds like the opposite of fun to me—organized activities, no alcohol permitted and the hooting of the trains keeps you up all night. But he loves camping and between these zoo overnights and daddy-daughter camping weekends in various state parks, he's instilled a love of camping in our kids. So far I've managed to stay out of it, though I'm not sure how much longer I'll get away with it. All of my excuses—mommies aren't allowed to camp at the zoo!—have been contradicted by reality. Right now my stance is that I won't camp until we get a vintage Airstream or a teardrop trailer or anything that resembles the Barbie camper I had in my 70s youth (my kids have an identical one that I scored at an estate sale last summer). I love the vintage trappings of camping! Like these books—so cute. But actual camping? Do I have to?
You'd think that with an Eagle Scout for a father, I would be an accomplished camper by now, but I've never camped a day in my life. I never even went to sleepaway camp. In sixth grade, I went on a three-day field trip to a place called Thunder Mountain in Pennsylvania, but we stayed in cabins so I don't think that counts. And when I was in junior high, me and my friend Anne pitched a tent in my backyard but the night ended early, after some high school boys thrillingly put a dead fish in our tent. Truth is, I don't really know what my problem is with camping—I'm actually a big fan of nature, and not just as it's depicted in the super-saturated colors of vintage books. And considering that I've been stung by scorpions and bitten by tarantulas in the comfort of my own home, I'm not uptight about the critters. Probably it's just that I like my time alone when he takes them both camping. I go on shopping expeditions to ikea, to flea markets, to as many estate sales as I feel like in a single day. I run twice as far as I usually do, and eat ice cream for lunch. I take myself out to the movies and see things like Jane Eyre. I stay up all night watching old Masterpiece Theaters on Netflix. In other words, I totally party! This weekend it won't be quite like that—my older daughter has aged out of the zoo program so we'll be able to have a girlz nite of some kind. Haven't decided what we're doing yet—she wants to go out to dinner and then see Mirror Mirror but I'm more inclined to subject her to a marathon viewing of Pride & Prejudice on Netflix. She is almost 9—isn't she ready? Maybe if I say we can have ice cream for dinner...