Since becoming a single parent, I have discovered I’m not great at everything.
I honestly probably knew that before, but I could hide some of my inadequacies by letting my other half do what I couldn’t. However once I was no longer part of a pair, that became a facade I can no longer keep up. All my friend know (and mock me) for not being able to hammer a nail into a wall. I can’t wash up for toffee, and flat pack puts the fear of Satan in me.
And I don’t camp.
I have to be honest, I wasn’t sure if I didn’t camp, or couldn’t – but as a single mum it was always a path I didn’t fancy walking alone.
Until my son asked me to.
The thing with my oldest boy is, he is a bit of a dear, most of the time. (The other bits he is an utter arse and I always have an eBay feature on him, just waiting to go live.)
But most of the time he is a darling.
He feels the impact of not living with his Dad more than anyone else. He is in a house of girls, and although we have fantastic fun, I catch him looking at the Dad’s at football, and his mates hanging out with their Pops in the week, and I know he hurts.
I hate that.
But it is the reality of our life, and we knew it would be this way when we chose to relocate.
When he spent his Sats week sleeping outside in our cheap pop up tent, I came to the conclusion that he was serious about the whole camping m’larkey and decided it was time to learn a new skill.
Tent putter upper.
The whole process was made quite easy by Blacks, who upon hearing of my son’s desires, joined in the fun and sent us a wicked six berth tent. This also meant I couldn’t back out of the agreement. So I booked us a trip to Wales, prayed for good weather, and packed the car with every item we owned.
At the very least, I thought I would get some decent amusing blog content out of putting up the tent.
How wrong was I?
Turns out as a team, the three small ones and I excel at tent putting up.
Took 33 minutes to get from a tent in a bag, to a fully erected beauty of a home.
Owen’s excitement shining through on his face.
No one knows why Libby-Sue’s face looks like that – thank god the wind didn’t change.
Some could say it is testament to the tent that it was so easy to create, but I would like to think we could steal some of the credit. The memory of cussing at the kids at minute 22 when the tent threaten to engulf my smallest child was quickly forgotten as we unpacked and made the tent beautifully homely and got the BBQ burning.
Turns out I really like camping.
Surrounded by the wild beauty of the Brecons, I found a sense of peace of being back to nature, with no electric, no wifi, and just the kids. We talked rather than commented on each others Instagram posts, we played, a different game every night. I am currently the family Dobble and Rounders champion, I do need to up my Snakes and Ladder performance.
The Brecons is an amazing place to take the kids, even more so if it is sunny. We adventured over to Llangorse multi-activity centre and proved that fear has no place in my family as we tackled climbing, caving, bouldering, and the ropes. The instructor at Llangorse was amazing, managing to install a sense of I can do it in all my children (and me).
The children scurried up walls like they were born in a well. They leapt over rope bridges and scampered up rocks as if it were second nature. I ambled on behind them, taking a deep breath before I moved any body part, doing a mini risk assessment each time, calculating how close I was to death each time.
I was totally safe – just my over active imagination was getting over involved.
I even conquered a life long fear of caving. Squeezing my size 14 butt into holes it really had no place being in, and navigating my way through a deep, dark cave – without crying.
I came very close.
We only went a climbed a mountain!
My love of walking doesn’t always transcend to my children, but somehow, someway, using much motivation I managed to get my three little ones up Pen Y Fan.
I may have yelled a lot at mile 4.
By the top, I was so overwhelmed with pride that they had done it, I completely forgot why my throat was sore.
This is my family,
We are climbers, we are cavers, we are walkers, we are conquerors of big hills, and we are campers.
Loving the summer!