So, we just returned from our yearly camping trip. Every Memorial Day weekend we pack up all the things and the kids and the dog and go to Eastern Washington to get our CAMP on. We love it, well…I have many thoughts on camping, and love is just one of them.
Oh, let me make some things real clear before I can even go on. We don’t really camp, we GLAMP. Please don’t judge, because it is necessary for two reasons. Numero uno, being that I am a very southern girl and I don’t, as a rule, camp…It’s just that, getting dirty ( and I mean disgustingly dirty) feet and bugs and heat and sweat…just. NO.
Numero dose…Noah Luke. kind of, enough said if you know him. He needs his movies, and this is not a joke. It is an absolute must, do you hear me? Autism needs those movies really, because if it were up to me,and i thought Noah would be fine, I’d throw those dang movies off the narrows bridge and then have a full-on party to celebrate there demise, that’s how many times we’ve all seen those movies over the years. Watching the same Mickey Mouse movies 50,000 times makes you feel crazy. Unless you have autism and then I can imagine, it makes you feel safe.
So glamping is camping, only with a camper trailer instead of a tent. Its like camping in a small single wide. Its the best I can do, not because I’m too above a tent..I just would rather do anything else in the world than camp without electricity, that’s just the truth.
So now that you all know how it really goes down in our camping world…Let me tell you, its still real hard and it’s still really dirty. It is also lots of fun… Making memories with the kids, and our friends that are more like family is priceless. Even if it sucks to prepare all the food, pack and then unpack when you get home.
Every year I get very worked up, because of several things. I am not laid back, I can admit this now (for years, I really thought I was laid back, so weird to me now) I am, who I am, high strung, high energy, and high emotion…whatever, I’m also freaking fun! So you can imagine how I freak out every year at the possibility of all manner of things going wrong. I try to run “what if”s” in my head and make myself crazier, I try to over prepare for just in cases…weighing our camper down by probably 20 useless pounds. Then as always, I give up and say, ” you know what, nobody’s gonna die! No people on my watch have died! and we can do anything for five days.”
To be honest, we usually have a mixture of good, awesome, and bad. Noah can get very anxious at times and makes lots of noises. He is non verbal, yes, but that doesn’t mean he’s not loud. It just means that no one understands what he’s trying to say, and I start to get anxious because I want Noah to feel relaxed and happy. I want Josh to have the best time ever because his friends and camping mean everything to him. I also want our friends and camping neighbors to not have their trip ruined by my verbally stemming kid. Things just don’t always go as planned (gosh, in my life, like never) So often times Jeremy and I will have many moments of tension just because we don’t know what to do. Jeremy(the hubs), bless his soul, is much more laid back and relaxed about camping and Noah than me…thank you Jesus. He does his best to help me realize that everything is okay…actually better than okay. Noah is who he is and that is OKAY.
So, This trip was different for me. There wasn’t one time when I got stressed out (and I’m a truth teller, so I would tell you) and Jeremy and I had no tense moments, nada. Noah did get loud, and anxious at times, but not much. I am so, from the bottom of my heart grateful. I realized something about myself in Sun Lakes this year. That much of my frustration can come from feeling like Noah and I are missing out on fun. You see, my love language is quality time. If I love you, I want to BE with you. and to know that so many of our close friends were out and about in the sunshine or sitting just out by the camp fire, but I was stuck inside with Noah, doing what I always do….feed, change diapers, change movies….repeat. It used to make me feel, angry, sad, self pity,and isolated… all those things.
I feel like the Lord changed my heart this year…I hope it sticks because it was wonderful not to feel those feelings this time. Instead, I felt needy for alone time with each of my boys. I felt thankful for any opportunity to try something new…I sat next to Noah on our little couch in the camper and read a book while he watch his movies, and felt content, in stead of angst…WOW, what a wonderful miracle. He felt it too because he was happy that I was choosing to stay by his side and take him to do all the things, even if he didn’t like it. whatever, we would just leave and come back to the camper. At least he tried! I’m so proud of he and I… as we continue to grow together, not perfect by any means, but we keep giving each other grace. That to me, is the most important thing…love each other, give as much grace as you can…KEEP TRYING.
I’m actually looking forward to being brave all summer…Doing things that might give our family lasting memories. Enjoying each of my family members for who they are individually…I will also give my self grace…I need it the most I think.
Be Brave sweet Momma’s out there…If you have a bad day, get up and try again tomorrow. Try something new. Try something again, but with a changed heart. Look at your life and say…wow, I am so grateful!