Wednesday, June 17, 2015
We're Empty Tenters
Last Friday, my oldest daughter returned home from her freshman year at the University of Washington.
It was not a year without its ups and downs. Roommate issues. Constant need for money. Travel logistics. And more roommate issues.
The good news is she persevered. And the daughter that came home is markedly different than the daughter we dropped off a year ago. More confident, more aware and more mature. Still annoyingly sloppy, but in a more grown up way.
It is, as one professor told us during parent orientation, the transformative power of adversity.
As she settles back in her room and messes up the house, my wife and I are getting ready to leave. It's time for our annual camping trip to Independence, California. Our 12th year in a row. Only this time it's going to be different.
My girls aren't going with us. And because they're not going, neither are the kids with the other families who have made this regular sojourn.
We have officially become Empty Tenters.
Naturally, this has brought about a certain sadness.
We won't be doing the very-intoxicated Snipe Hunt. And coaxing the kids into the thorny bushes to "grab the snipe. I see it, get in there. Fast."
We won't be doing Smores. And sending our kids down to the stream to wipe the melted chocolate and sticky marshmallows from their filthy faces.
We won't be doing the 11 mile hike up to Kearsage Pass. And telling our kids, "just one more switchback, promise."
On the other hand, we will be doing more of what a camping trip is all about.
We'll be napping.
We'll be reading.
We'll be retreating from the grind of everyday life and recharging batteries that are all but completely drained.
Also, we'll be drinking Margaritas from the new hand churning camping blender I just bought.
And if I get time to make it to the dispensary to renew my medical marijuana card, we'll be enjoying some tasty buds under the starlit skies of the Eastern Sierras. And we'll probably get the munchies.
So maybe we will be doing Smores after all.