For the sake of my sanity, and to protect the innocent, I'll spare you the details. Just imagine the worst camping trip ever, then multiply it by a very stressed out mama, unusually hot AND cold weather, unrealistic expectations (by that stressed out mama), and eight children (two who need structure, don't do well with changes, and have physical challenges); you have a perfect storm!
The experience wasn't a total wash, however. I learned some very valuable lessons. You may have learned these quite some time ago, and not have a clue why it's taken me so long. My explanation? I am a slow learner, and I (generally) only learn from experience. Painful experience. So, here are the lessons I've learned:
- camping when exhausted is a bad idea
- camping with special-needs kids can be extra stressful (especially with two kids who fall more than the average bear, and you are cooking around a campfire), even if you've camped with them before
- camping after an incredibly stressful year is incredibly stupid and should not be attempted by the
- when you go camping under the above conditions, don't expect to have fun, and don't expect people (even the ones you are camping with) to understand why you are not having fun.