So we're sitting there, camping at this most beautiful location---Alta Lakes, about 13 miles outside of Telluride, CO---and the kids are driving us crazy. It's as if....oh, who knows...the problem is just that it's rainy, the bugs are horrible, and the kids keep fighting. But the setting is perfectly divine. A gorgeous lake in the valley of these gorgeous mountains, about 11000 feet up, almost above treeline. Wildflowers everywhere. It's serene, really, except, like I said, the kids are driving us crazy. Just typical stuff---fighting with each other, getting muddy and wanting to change clothes oh about every 13 minutes, spilling food all over the place so the bugs and bears can more easily find us, and someone needing to hit the latrine (with help, of course) about every 7 minutes---just your typical kid camping stuff.
I should preface this by saying that my husband and I have always loved backpacking. But we're sort of control freaks about it. We have certain packs for certain things, we have certain ways of doing everything. All of it is very well thought-out and very well organized. We like a clean, orderly camp. And still, plenty of time for reading, napping, swimming, and just enjoying. Anyway, then we had kids and we started "car-camping." I suppose people who are used to car-camping would have more tolerance for kids at a camp spot. But not us. We have very little tolerance for clutter at camp. Oh, our poor children!
So, the kids are muddy and fighting with each other, spilling juice boxes all over the place, and being much too noisy---but I just started a new book (The Memory Keeper's Daughter, very good). Please, please, please, let me just sit here in this beautiful place and read it! Then my dear husband sighs, stands up from his camp chair and says, "Hey girls! (we have two girls, aged 5 and 7) Let's go for a walk around the lake." I look at him like he's God, and settle back into my chair with my book. Oh the peace! They're on the other side of the lake, skipping rocks, collecting firewood, finding animal tracks, pretending to spot bears, and best of all, they are having FUN. And all I have to do is sit back and enjoy it. Damn, I love my husband.
Well, wouldn't you know, 15 minutes later, they were back. Itching from mosquito bites, demanding food and drink, arguing over who collected the best sticks for the campfire---but at least I got my 15 minutes!