Teaching my daughter she can do it
(“it” meaning anything really)
“Daddy’s not coming with us?? who will light up the camp fire?”
I looked at my spouse who looked back at me. My daughter understood by mistake that her father isn’t camping with us, and her first fear was who would light the fire and who will build the tent.
So yes, I am married to an alpha male who can do anything really, and I did let him do all the work while camping through the years, but it was only logical — he does it perfect, fast, he’s stronger and whatever I told myself.
Thing is, without noticing, I told my 5 years old a different story. Whereas I know I am capable of taking care of myself, god knows how I traveled the world solo and took crazy risks and good care of myself, my daughter only spectates and derive the rules of the world from what she sees around her.
I immediately understood it’s something to take to my attention and work on changing this faulty conclusions.
At first I stated that I can take care of us in the outdoors but these are only words; kids need to see actions.
Then, on that trip, I built the fire and lit it up, built the tent and inflated our mattresses. I was a surreal sight: me, 150 cm, holding a huge mattress above my head, walking back to our tent from the car where I inflated it. I was a tiny ant holding a piece of bread above my body. But this is a sight to remember.
Still, I felt that more serious actions should take place.
“We’ll go on mothers-daughters’ camp out!” I decided and started asking a few friends with daughters. They all loved the idea!
From there it was as smooth as it gets. We settled on a date and I told Naomi. She was super excited and her excitement grew with the approach of the weekend.
We hardly planned anything. We almost caved and booked a place at a camp-out area which means we’ll have running water and toilets. I started thinking this might be a better solution, especially for the first time, since we don’t have men with us and that way we’ll have the framework of the place.
The weather was against us as well — it was one of the hottest weekends lately and the Israeli summer can get brutal.
But in the end we just played it by the ear and it was perfect.
On the first day we found a heavenly almost-secret hidden fountain near Jerusalem after too long of a quest. It was worth every drop of sweat.
A female couple at the fountain declared that we’re the coolest moms ever.
We then looked for a place to sleep, took some woods from a camping area we decided it lacked shade and unpacked in a different spot.
Surprisingly enough the new place lacked woods and it was so cool that one mother brought an axe(!) with her (a friend gave her a night before in case she’ll need it. She did!) and started chopping branches of a tree that lied on the ground. The camping area was ours alone and it was just what we needed. No one around, just us the girls, taking care of ourselves and enjoying every minute.
We made dinner, built a fire, set up the tents and made cool desserts (chocolate filled bananas in tin foil) with the girls.
At night, our tent’s zipper failed to work and I didn’t want to share our space with mosquitoes. I used one of the girls’ hair lotion and smeared it on the surface. It worked.
Later, I joined my daughter in the tent. She fell aside from her mat so I picked her up. “Way to go” she said in her sleep. “Way to go, yourself” I replied.