Making the List
“Ouch!” I said as I put the aloe on my shoulders. “You need to be more careful, Mom,” my 9-year-old, Anna, says to me. I was studying the list too hard and noticed a green smudge of aloe on it. I’m sure I’m missing something. Our trip was getting close. I was getting nervous. Kids, clothes, dog hair, bags were everywhere. Calls back and forth were rampant between families with questions like: what kind of shoes are you hiking in? How much snack food are you packing? What is it like in the first campground?
The doorbell rings. Dogs bark loudly. Kids run. I yell, “Don’t let the dogs out!!!” “It’s just boxes, Mom,” says the 7-year-old. “How do boxes ring the doorbell?” asks the 4-year-old. We laugh and all lug the two boxes inside. I’m excited because I know what is inside. “This is our gear, kids! Wa-hoo!” I say. The 2-year-old is jumping even though she doesn’t know what gear means. The others wait for me to open the boxes trying on their own with their little finger nails scratching at the tape on the sides. I slice open the box top, and see the tent brand peek out beneath bubble wrap.
“Poppy paper, poppy paper!!!! Woo-hoo!” the little ones run off with the bubble wrap. “Here is the tent,” I say as I hoist it out. “It sleeps six, Mom, that’s good!” says the 7 year-old. I peer at the tent bag wondering how we and all our things will fit inside for 10 days. I feel excitement welling.
Escape! Adventure! These are some friends of mine. I love them. I pull out the sleeping bags for the kids. They are reaching for them. “There’s a pocket for my little puppy!” says the 4-year-old. They each whisk away their bags to play with. I hear them “playing camping” with their stuffed animals. “We need a fire,” I hear faintly whispered. This is the last of it I was waiting for, I think. We are ready.
A few days before our departure, I am weary of preparation and just want to get the show on the road. Bags are stacked by the back door, and food covering the counter. My folder of reservations are in my car bag. Kids are just as ready to be on the road as adults. My eyes feel gritty as I make myself go down the list again. The list looked something like this:
- mini-broom/dustpan for tent dirt
- Plastic Tarp for under tent
- Rug/old towel/plastic to put at tent entrance
- Lantern for tent
- Sleeping Bag (you will want a fairly warm one)
- Sleeping pad
- Small Backpack for hikes
- Refillable water bottles
- Flashlight and spare batteries
- Sturdy, comfortable shoes for hiking
- Flip-flops for around the camp and shower
- Rain Jacket
- Camping chairs
- Toiletries: tooth-brush/paste, travel size shampoo/cond/soap, shower caddy, hairbrush, hair-ties, razor, DEODORANT
- Medications…make sure you bring some Advil
- Sun block
- Mosquito spray
- T-shirt, shorts
- Underwear, socks
- Hiking Pants??
- Jacket and/or a sweatshirt
- Warm pajamas for everyone (esp kids)
For the Car:
- Cooler (drinks, sandwich stuff for lunch on the road)
- movies/books/music/books on tape
- Change of clothes for little ones
- Towel for spills
- Plastic bag for trash and other mishaps
- Cell phone/maps
- Park info
My husband peers over my shoulder at the list too. “That should be all, right?” I ask him. He laughs, squeezes my shoulders, and says, “I hope so.” “I think we need to add a few things to this list like good attitudes and flexibility. I’m thinking we should make everyone wear a rubber band on their wrists to remind them to be flexible like we had to do on my first mission trip to Belize,” I’m smirking as I talk. He nods with twinkling eyes. “I’m getting off work early Thursday, and we can load in the afternoon and be gone by evening,” he tells me. Girls swarm with excitement and hugs for their daddy. I revel in their delight. Thursday. It’s coming!!!!!
To be continued…