Spring Sunday: Camping For Mother’s Day Please!
I’ve never been a Sunday Brunch Mother’s Day kind of girl. Don’t get me wrong, I love migas and mimosas as much as the next mom. Serve them up with hot coffee and some cinnamon rolls please! (Let me linger in bed first, though, for a long time with my Sunday Times, and then bring them to me.)
It’s just that when I was young and foolish and dreaming about the kind of mom I’d be and the kids I’d have, back when I still thought it was possible to work and parent and be fit and be in a good mood most days (Ha!), I knew one thing: I wanted to spend as much time as I could outside with my kids.
I grew up in Baltimore. Outdoor adventures meant kick-the-can in the street, playing “army” in the woods with the neighborhood boys, or riding a bike to the pool.
My parents, who had grown up doing hiking and sailing trips in Maine, tried. On Sundays, during the summer, they took us hiking up 900-foot mountains in the Alleghenies.
“Is this the top?” We’d ask, because it was never very clear on such low-lying, bug-infested, forested mounds where the end actually was.
They’d present us with certificates and a dinner at Chili’s at the end, telling us we’d “worked hard.” They wanted us to feel good about the outdoors, even though the outdoors weren’t great. Truthfully, I think my dad, a surgeon, spread thin between work at two different hospitals and four kids, just wanted something that got them out of the city and that ended with chips, salsa, and beer. My mom was grateful for the exercise and that she didn’t have to cook.
Nevertheless, even though the hikes we embarked on weren’t exactly wilderness, they instilled in me that the best way to spend a Sunday, if you can, is on a hike with your family.
So that is what we’ll do. Only because of where we get to live in the world, our trip will be a little longer. We’ll take off on a Friday and spend the weekend in some slice of desert.
Don’t worry, I’ll still have cinnamon rolls, and they’ll still be brought to me. My husband has taught the girls how to bake them, in the Dutch Oven, under a pile of coals in the camp fire. They know how to bury the oven, so that the rolls cook evenly. Know how to wait to drizzle the frosting until the rolls are on a plate. They know that time outside followed by a treat is a good recipe. Some family traditions live on.
Emily Brendler Shoff
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