Thursday, October 3, 2013

searching for silver, part 1.

{the beginning of the end}

it's no secret that i'm not a fan of camping.

when ben and i were dating seriously, we discussed the fact that i'm a self-proclaimed 'indoor-girl', and i asked if this was something that could potentially damage our bright and shiny possible future.

{side note:  my definition of 'indoor girl' is this:

  • an absolute lover of the outdoors and nature, until it requires me to:
  1. sleep on anything aside from a mattress and box springs.
  2. sleep/eat/live inside four walls made of material that cannot provide protection from inclement weather, dangerous 4-legged predators, or shriek-inducing creepy crawly things (when the enter/exit door is left unzipped, of course)
  3. dig a hole in the wilderness, or hover over a non-flushing, fly-covered latrine, or even worse.... (cue the dry heave) asking me to "pack it out."  for any of you reading who knows what that statement means, i am so sorry.
  4. sleep while sharing the same 100 ft space with my three children (whom i love and adore) because of their severe inability to sleep anywhere unless they're tucked in their own beds.  (and even then, their sleeping habits are extremely questionable)
other than those requirements?  nature and i get along quite well.  there's no place i feel closer to God than when i'm surrounded by the beauty He has created.  i just don't like to sleep, or use the bathroom there.  end of side note.}

ben thought long and hard about my question.  he was not only a self-proclaimed 'outdoor guy,' but he had actually communed with other nomads/hippies/earthlovers by joining in the "rainbow gathering" and accepting this way of life as his own, for a time.  this was who we were when we met in high school... my curly hair, overly-mascaraed eyelashes and show choir uniform vs. his poofy white-boy fro, Grateful Dead tie-dyed t-shirt, frayed jeans and ever-present hacky sack.

i told him i wouldn't stifle his love of sleeping under the stars with dirt in his teeth and the next morning's trail mix near his pillow--he was welcome to go on trips and expeditions when he pleased.  i asked the same of him, to marry me without the thought of changing me, knowing i would prefer always to sleep in a hotel, with flushing toilets and my tube of mascara waiting by the bathroom mirror.

we agreed that our love for each other and immense compatibility in other areas far out-shined this measly indoor girl vs. outdoor guy conundrum.  for the past almost 11 years, this has worked for us.  ben has found male friends and family to go on weekend explorations through slot canyons and steep mountains, while i've found girls who appreciate a night away tucked into egyptian cotton sheets and showering with small tubes of complimentary shampoo.

but then our children grew up, becoming old enough to love the idea of sleeping in a tent and eating fire-roasted marshmallows until their bellies distended with sugary goodness.  

i wrote about the last time we went camping as a family; the sleepless night and flustered morning when i handed 5 month old leah over to a stranger while i made a mad dash for the outhouse before my bladder exploded.  i still remember that moment of panic.

we hadn't been "real" camping as a family since that time, until the ward campout was announced a month ago in church, and immediately the kids begged us to go.  my instincts told me to pretend i didn't hear them, but i looked into their adorable, pleading eyes, then into the chocolate-y brown eyes of their father, and i found myself saying yes.  i knew it would be a sleepless night, but my sense of optimism took over.  i pictured dirty faces, hiking among trees together, sitting around the fire playing games...and convinced myself i could just take a nap the next day.  i wanted to be a good sport, to try again.

in the back of my mind, i knew i didn't want to be someone who always says "no" to things just because i don't love it and know it's going to be a lot of work.  how could i teach my kids to try again and do hard things, if i wasn't willing to?

knowing it was going to be cold, we packed multiple layers for each family member, and left mid-afternoon, ready for our adventure....

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