Worth it

Parenting is hard.

For some, this is obvious. For others suffering denial, this is a sign of a severe character flaw. For a blessed few who’s beatification awaits them at their death, who’s names will be remembered in song and psalm for all time, this is an inconceivable truth.

God did us this one favor – he made these people rare. This is not to say parenting is without its rewards. If it was, Homo sapiens sapiens would have died out long ago (no mater how much fun getting there was/is).

This little post is for all of you out there who live in the real world.

Fortunately, there are times that force the hard parts to the rest of life’s background noise, and this weekend was filled with those times.

We took the kids on their first camping trip this weekend. On Friday I worked half a day, Cheryl picked up the kids early from school, and we drove to Orlando for a weekend of camping, Disney style.

Admittedly, Disney, realism, and roughing-it don’t really belong in the same post. But this weekend did involve tents, sleeping outside, camp-side cooking, and relaxed standards of personal hygiene.

Being Disney, it also involved buses, pools, water-slides, campfires with Disney characters and shops stocked with grossly overpriced marshmallows.

We brought our own marshmallows.

While the kids enjoyed the Disney aspects of camping, they also enjoyed its traditional appeal: running around dark campsites with friends exhibiting all the signs of a marshmallow sugar high, setting foods dense in simple sugars on fire, and eating lots of grilled meat.

It warmed my heart just seeing them having fun, soaking up all the new experiences and never growing saturated.

One simple moment almost moved me to tears.

Adam and I were settling down for the night and I knew he was afraid of the dark, preferring to sleep with one or twelve of his stuffed, furry friends for safety. I asked him if he was o.k.

“Well, I wish Halo was here,” (his stuffed dog), “but I’m o.k. because you’re here with me.”

Give the gift of words.