One of my favorite things about kids has always been the magic that they find in counting down to future events. Right now, Noah has his eye set on one thing: camping with Dad.
We’ve been counting down to it together since Christmas-time at least. This last winter, it seemed, was so long, and so cold, and so drab. We both were starting to get serious cabin fever.
On the days when the weather was too extreme for even our thickest of parkas, we’d sit next to the gas fireplace, drinking cocoa, talking about how fun it’s going to be when we can setup our huge tent, zip up our sleeping bags together, and stay up telling stories in the dark. We talk about the fishing and the bike riding we’ll do while we’re camping. We talk about the places we’ll go and who we’ll go with. We talk about how much fun our dog is going to have being up in the mountains.
And now that the sun is coming out more often and the flowers are starting to bloom, Noah can sense that the season for camping is approaching, and quickly. A day doesn’t go by when he doesn’t ask me if it’s warm enough yet. I still point to the snow that covers the top half of the mountains and tell him when that’s all gone, that’s when we’ll go.
This year he’s insisted on pulling out his camping gear to make sure it’s all ready and all there. He’s made sure to sleep in his sleeping bag to make sure it’s still warm enough. He’s made sure his tiny tackle box is full of fishing gear. And he’s made sure that the tent is always in a place where it can be grabbed at a moment’s notice.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t equally as anxious to go camping with him. There’s just something about being in the great outdoors together as father and son that takes all of life’s worries and tosses them aside for the time being. Maybe it’s the fact that everything electronic is just gone for the moment. Maybe it’s the fresh air. Maybe it’s just that love can be felt a little easier when there’s not so much distraction.