Making Memories Monday: My First Link-Up Here

A few weeks ago, Jennifer over at Adventures in McQuill-land, a delightful blog I've been following for several months, invited me to link up with her Making Memories Monday meme. She got a bit delayed in posting this week - with good reason (though you'll have to read her post to discover just what that was!) so it's now Tuesday night. But, because of Labor Day, it might just feel to you (as it does to me) like a Monday anyway...so it works!

In fact, Labor Day is integral to my topic...because my husband and daughters have a tradition they carry out every Memorial Day (to mark the start of summer) and Labor Day (to note its end): they camp out in the backyard for at least one - and, hopefully, two - nights over the holiday weekend.

I am always invited to participate - they'd happily either set up the big tent or (more cozily) make room for me in the little red tent that was actually a wedding gift. But I've determined to let this be a daddy-daughter thing. Now, it doesn't hurt that I'm not particularly fond of camping - I don't like being dirty, and I seem to always be cold, no matter how many layers I pile on - but I hang back for a different reason. Namely, I want to facilitate great memories between my daughters and their dad.

Truth be told, that happens very regularly around here through their everyday interactions - Jeff making a puzzle with Abigail tonight or tossing a ball with Rachel in the backyard as recently as last week - but I also know there's something extra-special about making memories on purpose, too. And the backyard camping excursions do just that.

On camp nights, we usually make a batch of popcorn and watch a movie all together, staying up way past the girls' normal bedtime until it's completely dark. Then they head out back, bedecked in footie jammies (the girls, not Jeff!), with flashlights, stuffed animals, and a good read-aloud (this weekend, it was the Junior Classics version of Huckleberry Finn) in tow. I have no idea how late they all stay up or just what they talk about or do. I just know they all cherish the time together and are quite reluctant to bring in the sleeping bags and roll up the tent on Monday afternoon.

Happily, they don't need to wait long after Labor Day for their next outing - because our home education association sponsors a Father-Child Campout at the end of September! This is the real thing: a full weekend at a beautiful state park about an hour from here, complete with a seven-mile bike ride on Saturday afternoon and a pancake-and-porkie breakfast on Sunday morning. They fill the 60-person group site to capacity every year - meaning that the dads and kids all get to interact with dozens of other home educating families - and moms are not allowed. That's not discriminatory; it's discriminating...or, in other words, discerning. It gives the dads and their kids a chance to make on-purpose memories in a special setting - and that really can't be beat in terms of its long-term benefits all around.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

What a great idea, Tina! I got a chuckle out of the footie pajama comment.

We love camping, but unfortunately can't do it in our yard - no grass in our townhome backyard, so no place to stake the tent.

I'm so glad you linked up to Making Memory Monday this week. Your post was great. I hope you'll join me again in the future. I'll try to remember to post on time!

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