Friday, August 14, 2009

Camping with Baby

Jennifer and I just returned from our first camping trip with our nine-month old, Tyler. Prior to having Tyler, jen and I had gone on numerous camping trips, the l;ongest being a National Parks Road Trip a couple years ago where we camping in or near many of the great, Western National Parks.

Campfires, reading by rivers, journaling with mountains in view, liong conversations with cups of coffee brewed by percolation on our trusty Coleman camping stove--purchased by Jennifer for four bucks at a tag sale.

These are the recollections that come to mind when I recall camping with my wife. Camping with Baby on this most recent foray into the Adirondack Mountains, however, was a bit of a different story.

Jen and I joked that our moments of peace would have to become much more efficient. As we hiking up to the top of Roaring Brook Falls, a gorgeous 100 foot waterfall at the base of Giant Mountain, we soon realized that when we peaked, Tyler might allow us 20 minutes at most: we'd have to optimize our time for peace. Fit it in.

And yet.

And yet: there was still peace. We still saw the Falls; our bare feet still found their way to the cool rushing water of the river, the slopes of the slippery rocks.

At one momet on top of Roaring Brook Falls, I had walked over to the edge, where a view is afforded of the mountains in the distance, as well as the top of the waterfall. I stood there, looking off into the wide expanse of land and water--the fresh air, the beauty of it all.

And then I looked in the other direction, up the river. There: Jennifer sat holding Tyler, cradled in her arms, his head close to hers. Her feet touched the cool water, and together, the two of them were a more beautiful sight than I have ever seen. More spectacular than any waterfall; more awe-inspiring than any array of trees; more peaceful than a full day of journaling by a river.

Camping with Baby is definitely different, and I can't promise you that we'll be rearing up to go for another camping trip with Tyler right away. (The lure of carpeted hotels for Tyler to roll around in is strong.) However, Camping with Baby is definitely possible--even peaceful, if we're willing to find that peace shortened just a bit, more concentrated, but also more powerful.

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