Last Christmas, my Dad gave my son, Alex (11), his first tent. Admittedly, upon opening, Alex worked hard to stifle the “what the heck am I supposed to do with this?” expression. Secretly, I wondered whether, in this age of Minecraft and smart phones, this tent could hang with the competition. Alex had never been tent camping, but he thanked Grandpa with what grace he could muster (pretty sure he saw my “you best thank him or the tent goes to goodwill” expression) . Grandpa just smiled and told him that, if he was patient, all would become clear.
Fast-forward to last night. Spring in the Great Lakes brought us an unseasonably warm May, and Alex dug out his tent and headed outside. He set it up in record time, and we let him spend his first night under the stars.
This morning, he woke up and declared that backyard camping is the greatest – and this experience was without the frills. No bonfire, no s’mores; just a boy, his stuff and his tent. Although, he tells me, he’s going to start saving for an air mattress. Can’t say I blame him.
Some things are just timeless.