Our tent broke* on the Christmas camping trip, and while we do actually own a camping store, both the Geege and I sort of forgot about that little detail until the week before the trip. The Geege set about finding us a replacement tent**. He found something that met all the criteria, ordered it, but alas it was not available so we headed off on the trip with our broken tent, all the while hoping for clear weather.
It was quite a process to pitch the tent but we managed to squeeze us all in*** and, once she was up, we only had one moment of cussing the wholesaler who didn't have our 'new' tent in supply. That occurred at 3am during the only downpour we had when the tent confirmed it would be her last trip, by leaking. Not the shining moment of the trip.
One of the key goals of the weekend was for our boys to learn to ride their bikes without training wheels. This little issue had quickly crept up as a great source of Mother's guilt for me. I got fixated it. So much so that I had taken to pointing out every training-wheel-less child in the street, much to the joy of the Geege. Many of them were toddlers, I might add.
The farm proved the perfect place for learning to ride a bike. A long dirt driveway on a slight slope. Nugget was off in no time. Doo Dah was close behind. It was love at first ride. We had to peel them off the bikes to insist they eat their lunch on most days. They were up at 5am (when it was still dark) enjoying their bikes and the joy they brought them. Nugget even squeeed****.
It is amazing that all it took was opportunity. The kids were like a scene from BMX Bandits by the end of the weekend. A real gang. On bikes. No training wheels to be seen.
And with our kids so happily occupied, we parents got on with the relaxing side of camping sans rain; sitting by the fire, reading our books, cooking in the camp oven, having some beers and skittles.
As I watched them zooming down the hill moments before we packed their bikes into the trailer to make our way back down the
carpark freeway to home, a giant grin formed on my face. My shoulders were lighter. I felt pride and jubilation. My Mother's Guilt was gone. By Job I think they got it.
Do you sometimes get fixated on things you think your kids *should* be doing?
* A key pole snapped during deconstruction
** We thought we had to replace the whole tent because we have seriously outgrown our current one by about two children
*** Only really because Nugget decided he was brave enough to share a two-man tent with his buddy so they slept separate to us
**** If you know Nugget that was a site to behold! He is not really one for generous outbursts of enthusiasm or excitement.