We recently went on an over night rafting trip with my in-laws.
It. Was. Awesome.
When my husband first mentioned the trip my initial thought was, “too much work, too much prep, let’s just stay home and relax.” I tend to learn towards easy.
Sometimes this is a positive, but more often then not it is simply laziness mixed with fear.
Two things my husband rarely struggles with.
So, my man gathered our gear, borrowed the items we lacked, strapped life-jackets on his folks and piled all of us, rug-rats and all, into our raft and down the Colorado river–Utah bound.
(I especially love this photo)
(Just look at the way Little-Love is looking at her dad. Melts my heart how much that girl loves her daddy.)
One of the things I love about the river is the sheer absence of any other entertainment option.
No phones, no television, no toys, no space.
As a family we are stuck in 15 square feet of raft with very little noise and practically zero distractions.
As torturous as that might sound, it is decidedly the opposite.
We actually talk to each other, we sing, our kids have to entertain themselves.
It is some serious quality time.
I’m a big fan.
But back to this specific trip, there were two big highlights that I wanted to touch on.
The first I have no pictures of, because I was too distracted by my fear to even consider picking up a camera.
My husband brought some old wood with us to build a fire and once we were at our camp spot proceeded to teach my son, my teeny-tiny-6-year-old-baby-boy, how to chop wood. . .with an axe!
I could’ve died.
I was so scared. THIS is why father’s are so important, because if it were up to me my kids would never be within 100 feet of a sharp stick, much less a freaking axe.
But, honestly, it was equal parts terrifying and incredibly beautiful. My son chopped kindling, and with each split his family cheered, celebrating each swing into manhood.
His father and grandfather stood by his side, keeping him safe and giving him pointers.
His grandmother and I stood back, biting our tongues and saying our prayers.
As much as I hated it, some part of my absolutely loved it.
So glad it happened.
So glad it’s over.
Another beautiful moment happened immediately after the wood chopping.
The building of the fire.
My son, who had just made a huge leap towards manhood, decided that they should NOT build a fire with matches.
“I want to build a fire with my hands, like a man.”
My husband was thrilled.
(Again, this is a moment that I would have snuffed [pun intended.] I would have simply used a lighter and moved smoothly into the “gathered around the warm fire” part of the evening. LAZY. I am truly lazy.)
But luckily, my boys are not. They are determined. So they prepped the fire:
Gathered, foraged, broke:
And got to work with a flint and steal:
There might have been a very slight pause in the work:
But it didn’t last long.
Everyone took turns. But it was my father-in-law and son who eventually got a spark to take,
Just like that.
We made FIRE!!
Boy, oh boy, were they PROUD!!
It was high-fives all around.
And plenty of beautiful, warm and cozy fire moments followed.
Our camp spot was gorgeous. My forward-thinking man brought glow-sticks and sparklers for the kids. We had the most DELICIOUS camp stew EVER. It was perfect.
There’s just something about camping, isn’t there? The food tastes better, the sleep feels sweeter, the conversations are more fun. Some of my best memories as a child are of camping with my family.
I’m so thankful I have a husband who doesn’t get scared away by the work.
Moment’s like these are what life is made for.