My kids loved to camp when they were growing up, if you can count a tent in the backyard and access to a toilet in the house camping. I have a friend who camps in a mobile camper that probably cost more than my original house. If that counts, then so does back yard camping!
I specifically remember one warm summer night when my husband and I decided our kids were old enough to stay outside by themselves for the first time. The tent was put up a mere 5 feet from the driveway, and 15 feet from the kitchen door. We left them with sleeping bags, pillows, flashlights, and the necessary snacks and drinks that would insure they didn't need to return to the house until morning. Riiiiight!
As darkness fell, my littlest scaredy-kid returned to the house several times to use the bathroom. After hearing "noises", she was definitely spooked. Since the tent the kids were using belonged to my husband as a kid, logic therefore followed that he should be the one to camp out with his children to ease their fears. My reasoning made sense to me, and being a good sport, John dragged another pillow outside, stretching out with the kids for the night. To this day we still argue over whether his feet stuck out at the bottom of the tiny tent. We all have different memories of that night, and although they are slightly different, we agree it was memorable.
At some point John and the kids all fell asleep, and I was able to go to bed myself. My sleep time was interrupted, though, feeling more like a nap than a good nights sleep. Squeals coming from the tent reached my ears....and those squeals were coming from my husband. After hearing noises outside the tent, John had sat up, straining to hear what might be beyond the flimsy wall of fabric. When he finally peered through the flaps, the large head of a bear was a foot away, staring right at him.
Heart racing, the bear began licking his face, before he had a chance to move. It happened in a split second, and it was at this point John realized the bear was actually the largest dog he had ever seen. It was a grizzly looking black New Foundland, that we later learned belonged to yet another neighbor, living a country block in the opposite direction of our dear friend Chloe, the diabetic pig. His name was Mickey.
Here's to the wonderful memories kids and dogs....and pigs... can bring.
A warm country hug to all,