In 2010 my husband talked me into getting a camper. We purchased a travel sport camper. We had both camped growing up and felt it was something we wanted to do for our ONE son at the time. While my husband was used to setting up camp for a full summer away from home in a pull trailer with a bathroom, kitchen and all the amenities of home. I was accustomed to a pop-up camper that was used for a 2 week vacation every year. My camping experience required me to leave my camper and walk with a flashlight to go potty.
Needless to say I was a much harder sell on the camping life and the wonderful memories that were yet to be made with my new little family. But, the excitement in my hubby’s eyes and the curiosity in BigB’s then 4 year old eyes sold me on the idea.
The first year we were figuring things out. I was still not a fan by the end of the camping season. This was my profile picture on FB that winter:
The next year we didn’t do too badly, we did a little bit of traveling and sightseeing. By the end of that camping season, I was pregnant with LittleL. So, the following summer found us with a 3 month old baby and a newly minted 5 year old. My Facebook profile picture returned to the above image! I begrudgingly packed up a new baby every weekend and headed out for a camping “trip” that left us no further than 30 mins from our own front door. You know all that “stuff” a 3 month old baby needs, right? I was NOT a happy camper.
In spring of 2012 we went shopping for a new camper to accommodate our growing family and to help make this momma happy. We got a bigger camper, so we didn’t have to fold down the kitchen table to sleep. We also decided to park our camper in one spot to avoid the repacking every weekend.
Guess what? Everyone had a great summer! We live in an area that is not child friendly. There’s no place to ride a bike or scooter, no place to play road hockey or find a group of friends to just hang out with. BigB loves a place where he can have a campfire every night, a pool, new friends to play with, freedom, sidewalk chalk, street hockey etc. He sleeps like a rock from all the fresh air and self made entertainment.
I still don’t LOVE it. I maintain my argument that I would like the boys to see more of our country, province, etc. than the same 1hr radius every year. For now though, they love the freedom, the fresh air and they are playing old school! Those things I played outside – bike riding, chalk, skipping, scooters – I’ll take that for a few more summers, then I will change my tune again. So I ❤ camping for my boys.
When BigB was 4 years old we gathered both sets of grandparents for a lunch…and to put a roof on our shed. Along with the free labour, we had a purpose disguised in that lunch. We announced to everyone that BigB was going to be a big brother. Everyone was pleasantly surprised while BigB wasn’t sure at that point what it all meant. To be honest, neither did I.
35 weeks after that lunch, LittleL arrived via repeat C-section (that can be another post!). Our hospital stay was much like with my first, I knew what to expect from a C-section, my parents and sister were there to focus on BigB’s needs. My husband stayed in the hospital with me. I saved all the same things I did with BigB…Or did I?
If I rewind a bit and look at #1’s baby book, (which, I might add, is nicely done in a scrapbook with fancy papers, stickers and printed pictures), all the blanks are filled in and all special moments are recorded! I included appointment cards for my OB GYN. Yeah, you know those cards you get every 2 weeks you go? I had at least a dozen of them securely glued in a pretty book. There were three other pages in that same book dedicated to special moments for each trimester as well as names we were thinking about, cravings I was having, heartbeat rates…it was all there to help me remember!
Other than the presence of physical mementos there were other distinct differences between my first pregnancy and second. With my first, there was a shower. There were cards and gifts to celebrate Number 1’s arrival. There was a cake, food, games, people and pictures (as in printed pictures).
We took prenatal classes the first time around. We weren’t quite so studious with Number 2. We figured we knew what we were doing. (Besides, I had kept all of the handouts from the first classes in a baby book so I could review them anyway.)
Yes, #1 has a lovely scrapbook made by yours truly but he also has a Winnie the Pooh box that houses his first hospital hat, arm bands, photocopies of his hospital feeding chart, cards from his first year of everything! I even put the deflated helium balloons and flower cards in there.
What does #2 have? A grocery store bag. Yup. I’ve held on to most of the same stuff but it’s in that grocery store bag. There is no scrapbook, partially due to the fact that I don’t have an interest in scrapbooking anymore, but also TIME. With two kids there is no time to drag all that stuff out and I don’t print pictures.
While we are talking about printed pictures, it’s worth noting that there are approximately 2000 printed pictures and 7 full video tapes of his first year. #2 has about 300 printed pictures and is included in 2 of those 7 tapes. While that seems very skewed, that doesn’t mean I don’t take pictures of LittleL! Completely the opposite – I take more! I also take lots of video clips on my iPhone and iPad. I don’t print pictures, I save them! I share them via Facebook so I have no need to print them and send them out via snailmail.
So am I a slacker mom or a slave to technology? Am I changing with the times? Is LittleL being cheated out of childhood memories? Does it get worse with 3 or 4 kids or more? I think LittleL will be just fine. I have a lot of pictures. I have all the key items. But who are these items for, anyway? Are they for him? He probably won’t care. What 35 year old man is saying “Man, I wish my mom had my OB GYN appointment cards from when she was pregnant with me.”? Probably not too many. I think both boys’ significant others will be pleased with the amount of childhood keepsakes that are here for them to “oooh and ahhhh” over, but they won’t be able to have them because they are MINE!
Must go get my video camera and take some video of Little L. Thanks for reading.