Close your eyes and let your mind build a picture:
A lovely house set high on the banks of a lake, boats docked on the pier, people lounging around with drinks and food, dogs running wild jumping and splashing in the water.
Sounds wonderful doesn’t it?
No. Not at all. It’s a plethora of dangerous ways my kid can die. Falling off the dock. Tripping and rolling down the hill. Falling off the deck of the house. Being bitten by a spider.
It’s no surprise to anyone that I’m a control freak, slightly over-bearing and scared of anything dangerous for my family. I also love camping, which creates such chaos in my mind it can quickly become a very stressful event. I had high hopes for this weekend camping trip, I talked myself into being more relaxed and assured myself that I would be cool as a cucumber.
Did. Not. Happen.
Outwardly, I was maybe a little extra uptight but on the inside, I was seriously freaking out. Every time my husband would let Miss Thing walk down the hill towards the water I envisioned her tripping, stumbling and falling into the water. I didn’t want her walking around on the dock because I imagined her falling into the water. I slathered her with sunscreen and bug spray just in case she was bitten by the single mosquito in Canada that held the Zika virus. I barely ate, didn’t want to drink anything other than water just in case something happened and I was a fraction slower in my response time. I think I was more emotionally exhausted than anything and we stayed only 24 hours.
Miss Thing did not fall into the water. She did not contract any deadly diseases, fall into any fires or smash her head on a rock. She had a fantastic time. She ate copious amounts of snack foods, swam in the lake with Dad and Chloe, slept in the playpen like a champ and charmed everyone around her. She may not have gone to bed as quickly or as quietly as she does at home, but when she did fall asleep she slept soundly. Until 5am. We watched the sunrise over the lake and it was beautiful.
Don’t I feel like an idiot. I was freaking out over nothing. The Hubs told me that she would be fine, that she would have a great time and nothing crazy would happen. I hate saying that he was right. But he was. Damn him.
The next time I vow to be better. Have more fun. Worry a little less. Maybe even dip my toes in the water. You know – go crazy.
Have you ever taken your toddler camping?