My oldest daughter is very feminine. Very traditionally feminine in a lot of ways. She’s got a thing for babies, likes reading and coloring and dressing up and having her hair done in pretty styles. She’s a girl who likes her creature comforts, she likes a soft clean bed, clean clothes, heat, etc. Which is why I’m fascinated to hear that she’s LOVING life up in Maine this week. My family has been camping forever, and for the past twenty two years, we’ve been trekking three hours up to the Maine coast to camp for a week at a campground called Hermit Island. It’s not precisely an island, more a peninsula, but it’s got lots of beaches, lots of dirt, lots of bugs, and lots of deer. My parents have graduated to a camper (that’s a real rite of passage in my family – getting a pop up camper) but my sister is still using a tent.

I don’t like camping. I love, love, love the ocean, but also love being able to take a hot, clean shower at the end of the day. I like a good campfire, but prefer to sleep in a soft clean bed and go to the bathroom barefoot. Which is why I’m profoundly grateful that my sister Aimee bought a house about twenty minutes away from the campground and graciously lets me (and my pregnant cousin) stay there each year.

Jessica, for the first time ever, went up early. My mother and my sister went up yesterday and Jessie has been camping her little heart out. According to my mother, she’s blissfully happy, thrilled to death, in the ocean all the time, bouncing around the island with a permagrin on her face. Fascinating. I would not have predicted this. In fact, the child I would have thought would love camping would be Sam, and he absolutely hates it. It’s my Jessie Bug who’s a camping girl, she’s the one who lives all year for this one fabled week up at the ocean.

This is just part of what I like about parenting – you’re constantly surprised at who your kids become 🙂

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