When the kids were younger, it didn’t matter so much that Mike and I worked crazy hours in the summertime. They were at home all year round, and it was just a regular fact of life that we had more time with them in the colder times, less in the summer.
Having school age children changes that rubric. We no longer have the luxury of catching up on family time in the winter.
Last summer, I found myself in an emotional place where I was emphatically not okay with being away from them so much. Their youth seems to slip through my hands like sand, and I feel like I’m always trying to hold on before it’s gone.
So last year I decided to create a summer adventure for our girls where they get to have at least Mom for some sustained, dedicated family time.
Along with some other families, I took the girls on a camping trip up to Rock Island. It was such a special time, and definitely the highlight of the summer for both the girls and I. (And I do believe that while Mike missed us, he enjoyed being a bachelor, partying almost every night with the crew!).
But when I returned from Rock Island, I was exhausted. Solo parenting for 6 days, hiking in all our food, cooking three meals a day on a camp stove, doing nap time, and bedtime, I was busy providing for the girls the whole time. Like I said, it was such a special time for us all, but it was also a lot of work.
So when I learned about Camp Unistar, through our Unitarian congregation, I was intrigued. Camp Unistar is a family camp located in the Chippewa National Forest in Minnesota. With 3 square meals provided each day, a beach and boats at our disposal, and 2 hours of child programming every morning, I was sold.
I thought, here is a way to provide the adventure and camping fun for our kiddos, where Mom might actually find some time to relax.
I called my friend Angela. We discussed. Together we decided to go for it.
The girls can’t stop talking about it. And I can’t help but feel some of that little kid excitement as I begin to pack, following the packing list issued from the camp. I am hopeful for time to soak in both the wonder of our girls and the world around us.
Here’s to campfires, beaches, lightening bugs, and children running feral.
A special thanks to Mike for staying behind at the farm and taking on my full-time job on top of his while we’re gone. (Please go easy on him;)
Happy cooking, happy eating!