camping and being present as a parent
Tomorrow morning, I’m leaving for 3ish days of camping with kiddo. This is the first time that I’ve gone camping for well over a decade, and I’m a bit nervous, even though I’ve got lots of (rusty) Scouting experience to draw on and even though we’re also going to be staying in a cabin at a semi-structured church camp. Probably not too much to worry about in terms of camping.
One thing I’ve been thinking of a lot, though, is that I’m not particularly good at being present as a parent. It’s easy for me to be thinking about something else besides playing jaguars or to pull out my phone and pull up RSS feeds when kiddo has her back turned. I know I’m not alone in this, and a therapist from a few years ago was good about telling me not to beat myself up about it, but it’s still something that I want to fix. Going camping with kiddo for 3ish days, just her and me, is going to be an opportunity to practice getting better at this, but it’s also kind of jumping into the deep end. I’ve left my spouse on her own with kiddo a few times as I’ve attended conferences, but this is—embarassingly—the first time that I’ve spent this long taking care of kiddo on my own while spouse is elsewhere.
It’s exciting, and it’s long overdue—but I am an easily anxious and not readily present parent, and I don’t doubt this weekend will bring both of those up. I’m looking forward to doing my best, though.
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