Monday, May 14, 2012

Mom's Road Trip Reflections

Jonas and I had a wonderful time this weekend. The simplicity of a camping road trip was perfect. He's such a wonderful kid and he's got a lot on that beautiful mind of his. We talked about school, girls, friends, Scouts, bullying, love, growing up, parents, siblings, death, and anything else that popped into his head. Spending at least 13 hours in the Jeep and two nights in off the grid campsites gave us a chance to talk about all of it without any distractions or time limits.

Whenever we get back from a camping trip, we make a To Do List of stuff that we need for next time. (i.e. equipment that needs fixing, replacing or remembering.) This trip was no exception. Together we made our list and have started working on it so we'll be ready when we go camping with our Scout group in a couple of weeks.

I also spend time relfecting on our trips as a mom, trying to think of ways to make the next one more memorable. Beyond equipment, these things are usually more about the emotions and experiences of the trip. They're the things that the mom I wish I was would have thought of.

In honour of Mother's Day, here's what I came up with from this trip.
  • Take the opportunities to spend quality time to make memories as they come along. We had the chance to visit GG and we took it. We also worked in a camping trip. We could have stayed with family, gotten a hotel room or just made it a day trip. Jonas asked if we could camp and I thought "Why not?!" Why not indeed!
  • Let the child lead the way. Not only did he suggest camping and create our meal plan, he also wanted to really rough it so we did. Again, I thought "Why not?!" We didn't quite go "Survivorman" but took some big steps towards getting him closer to that goal.
  • Hide the Nintendo DS again so he can't find it next time either  ;)
  • He didn't get to use his knife or try using the ax and he was disappointed about that. Next time we'll either bring our own firewood (in case the park woodlot is closed) or leave lots of time before sundown to set up camp. That way we'll spend less time gathering wood and more time exploring the woods or working on our bushcraft skills together beside the fire. Gathering wood is an important skill to master but skills development pales in comparison to kid development.
  • Bring our poles so we can go fishing. He really wanted to cook a fresh caught trout over the fire. How cool would that be!
  • Stop for icecream. Put the schedule and To Do List aside more often and do something spontaneous and fun!  We did stop for a  flock of turkeys, a yard sale and to poke around a gift store but we missed out on icecream and that's a shame.
  • Bring more batteries for the camera so Jonas can take as many pictures as he wants along the way.
Self portrait
I'm really glad we took this trip. I hope it'll be a cherished memory for him. I know it will be for me. Happy Mother's Day!


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