There's something to be said for discovering that you can stretch beyond your comfort zone, in any aspect of life. In this instance, I'm referring to the very literal, sleep-in-a-real-bed and live-under-a-real-roof comfort zone. A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I packed the minivan to its gills, including miraculously squeezing the kids into their respective car seats in the midst of all the stuff, and we ventured off to Cunningham Falls State Park in Thurmont, MD, with the plan to add the item "Go Camping" to our official list of Family Firsts. (We're not terribly adventurous, so the list features such accomplishments as "Attend an Entire Minor League Baseball Game without Losing Our Minds" and "Survive a Fourth of July in Washington, D.C.")
We opted to ease into the camping experience by going with friends who are significantly more seasoned campers, as well as booking a site that had electrical hook-ups, a nearby water spigot, and was just one short path away from the bathhouse. Even considering those "amenities," I still felt like a pioneer woman just for the sheer fact that not only would I be offline for more than 48 hours, but I would be going to sleep for two nights with only a large piece of nylon separating me from the surrounding world of nature. (Including whatever critter rustled the bushes each and every time I walked a child up to the bathhouse. Memo to wild animal: I understood the deal the first time- you were there, and I didn't need the subsequent reminders/freak outs.) Okay, perhaps the likening of us to frontier explorers is a bit of a stretch, what with our perimeter of hanging Christmas lights and trio of air mattresses, but I did walk away from the weekend with a few lessons learned.