Tuesday, May 20, 2014

I am my father's daughter.

As a kid, our family didn't really vacation.
Instead, we went on adventures
One of our yearly "adventures" was whitewater rafting down the 
Green River through Desolation and Grey Canyons. 
It's about a 4-5 day trip, depending on how fast you want to go.
You raft the whole day, then set up camp somewhere along the river.
My parents did this year after year with all their kids in tow, 
ranging in ages from 16-4 years old.

Because of this, my dad made sure his kids knew how to
set up tents, roll up Thermarests, and pack sleeping bags on their own.
And he made sure it was done perfect and in the proper amount of time.
This is not an exaggeration- the WORST family home evening we ever had was when my dad set up the tent in the backyard and made Whit and I 
practice and practice and practice over and over again 
rolling our Thermarests until they fit perfectly in their bags.
It was AWFUL and we cried the entire time, 
vowing to NEVER make our children do something like this. 

*Note: Whit and I are still the BEST in the biz. If there was an Olympic event for setting up tents, rolling Thermarests, and packing sleeping bags, we would be champions. Seriously, our packing abilities are employable. I'm still waiting for the call from REI, NorthFace, and Sierra Trading to do some consulting. ;)

Let's fast forward to today. It's been years since I've been on a Desolation River Trip and the opportunity came up for B and I to go this month. My dad "bequeathed" one of his big tents to our little Johnson family- one of the tents I grew up with. So what did I do last night for FHE? I made B help me "practice" setting up the tent. Our next door neighbor yelled from his yard "Nice tent!" I retorted "We're going out of town this weekend and we have to make sure we know how to set it up!" Immediately, I looked at what we were doing and the realization hit me hard- Oh maaaaan, I am my father's daughter.

I like to think I wasn't as "iron-fisted" with B as "The General" was with me and my siblings, but I did catch myself spitting out some "That needs to be tighter. Keep that pole coming. No, it doesn't snap there!" After it was set up, I did let my kids run around and wrestle inside, which would've never happened in my childhood era. *Note: The reason my dad's gear has lasted for decades is because he took very, very good care of it. For me, a little family fun and goofiness ranked a bit higher. :)

I have to admit, though, after we rolled the tent up and slipped it in the bag with so much room, I could slip the width of my entire hand on the side, I yelled out loud "Yep, I've still got it!!!".

And then I high-fived my husband. (Who may or may not have rolled his eyes.)

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