by Camelia Miron Skiba
Way back in the day when we were traveling as a family, my only concern was how much fun will I have. Not what I was to pack, where I was to sleep or what I was to eat, how were we getting there or any other accommodation details; those were left to my parents. They were the adults, they took care of everything while us kids were in for the time of our life.
This past weekend I went camping (insert a long big pause here, as did one of my friends when I told her. She stared at me and said, “You, camping?” As if I told her I was about to fly to the moon). I made a list, packed two cars, five kids and a dog and off we went.
I won’t bore you with details of the drive (about 3 hours) or how I never understood aggressive driving, but I will tell you this: I was SCARED. I was in charge of five other lives+ 1 dog. Granted I had Pat and Alyssa with me (who are over twenty), but to me they are still kids. I was the one who needed to figure out sleeping quarters, food and water supplies, stay warm and safe in the middle of nowhere. All the way to the camping ground I kept telling myself, I am not insane. I will spend time with my son and his girlfriend, my nephew and my nieces, so very precious time. I am doing the right thing. I will figure out things. I will be ok. They will be ok. Reminded myself to breathe in between all theses mantra-like thoughts.
Pat got there before us and already unpacked the tent (mind you he only did this once before, a different tent, much smaller). I kept looking at him in awe how he went back and forth between reading the instructions and putting together the tent, one rope at a time. Tudor, my nephew was at his side and so willing to help. Us girls unpacked the mattresses, chairs and whatnot. When the tent was up and everything in its place, we went for a hike until we worked out a hunger.
We had a beautiful fire going, hotdogs and s’mores, told scary stories and
eventually went inside for some games. Later on as I listened to the howling wind in the moon-lit tent, I had an overwhelming thought, that I no longer was the carefree kid letting everyone around me taking care of things, but now I was the one taking care of others. That somewhere along the line, I walked into my parents’ shoes and at the same time passed the baton to my son. That if you do the right thing, your path will enfold before your eyes and your life will come full circle.