When I was first pregnant, my husband and I talked extensively about how we wanted our family culture to be. We envisioned an empty canvas and decided to take the best of both of our upbringings and meld them together with any new philosophies we shared. We settled on a warm, loving, ethical, empathetic, celebratory culture; one infused with curiosity, adventure and fun. The issue of concern was my fear. When it comes to germs, bugs, the cold, heights and a whole host of other phobias, I’m your poster girl.
It was important to Mitch that I not pass along my fears to our children and it has taken a lot of effort to shield them from my laundry list. Though it has been difficult, I am grateful to Mitch for insisting on it. Had I not put a lid on some of my fears in the first years of my oldest child’s life, she might never have become an avid bug collector or tree climber.
So when a group of families planned a camping trip to Joshua Tree last year, my husband signed us up. Given that I am happiest indoors, and that camping required me to face a number of my fears, this would be a giant stretch. And until we arrived there, I had not realized that we would be camping outside in 30 degree weather; no showers and no warmth. When I waivered, my husband reminded me that our goal is to raise strong girls and that being confident outdoors is a critical piece of that equation. With that in mind, I set out to show them that Mom could enjoy camping as much as a nice hotel.
So here is how this year’s trip went:
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Photo credit thanks to Amy Geibelson and Kim Hughes