Summer vacations were a magical time for me when I was growing up. I’ve never forgotten that feeling of immense freedom as I got off the school bus for the last time at the end the school year. The end of summer and the start of the next school year was nothing but a faint thought in my mind, if it even was there at all.
My summer-mind was always a whirlwind of all the things I had plans to do. In addition to the activities that just about every boy does during his summer vacation (which, other than getting scrapes and grass stains, is testing the limits of his mother’s patience), my parents always packed my sisters and I up in the car to go camping for a week or two.
Whenever I think about my childhood, the memories I have about camping are some of the best ones I have.We made tie-died t-shirts and competed in sand sculpture contests. We ate countless hot dogs and hamburgers. We cooked pizza’s over the campfire in my great-grandfather’s unique campfire oven. We got sunburns and bug bites but miraculously avoided poison ivy. We got rained on and nearly flooded out, and learned the hard way about the benefit of properly hung tarpaulins. We went fishing and often caught more trees than fish. We went swimming until our fingers wrinkled and learned how to dive off the dock. We went canoeing and paddle-boating, and watched our mother water-ski that one time. We played board games and seemingly endless rounds of Twenty Questions by the campfire at night. We made s’mores and got scolded for making torches out of flaming marshmallows. We found that loud, snoring neighbors makes for a late-night giggle-fest.
As my sisters and I grew older, we went camping less and less as our summer schedules filled up with extracurricular activities and summer jobs. I was lucky enough to find a woman who loves camping as much as I do, and we have spent many nights under the stars. We even went camping for our honeymoon. I hope you’ve had a good time making memories with your family, MIT Mommy.
I look forward to hearing all about them when you come back.