This year, we decided to have an adventure during spring break. We reserved a yurt in a state park campground on the ocean. If you do not know what a yurt is, it is a round hut-type dwelling that is quite small. Ours was big enough for a set of bunk-beds (queen size on bottom), a futon that could be folded down, and a small table. The best part about choosing this option over tent-camping was that the yurt was heated, and fully enclosed to keep out any spring rain.
As you may have read last summer, we love to camp. Before children, what seems like decades ago, my husband and I camped quite a bit. After children, we found that camping with young kids was tricky, and camping with Eddie was downright difficult. While tent-camping last summer, he spent much time in the van with the air conditioning on and music playing to drown out the sounds of his little sister. The a/c was required because Eddie doesn’t regulate his body temperature very well, but the music was simply for coping. Even though we made it work, the situation was not ideal.
That is how we decided on the yurt. We needed somewhere with heat and warmth so Eddie would not get sick. We also needed somewhere he could have alone time behind a closed door that didn’t feel like punishment to us. For those reasons, the yurt was a perfect fit. Also, simply by having beds to throw our sleeping bags on, everybody slept well every night. This doesn’t even happen in our own home.
Over the course of our trip, Eddie had multiple meltdowns. That is typical anyway. My husband and I decided that he wasn’t any more upset than he would have been at home. Based on that comparison, we felt like he had a good time. Someone recently commented on another posting of mine about setting different expectations for our kids to gauge success. We certainly had to do that for this trip.
For our girls, we knew they had a good time because they played in the ocean, collected numerous sand dollars, flew kites, and smiled all day long. For Eddie, his tantrums were comparable to home, he walked independently on the beach with his cane, he sat by the fire and ate marshmallows, he tolerated long car rides with the family, he had his fair share of smiles, he slept through the night, and he ate every meal provided. For those things alone, we think yurt-camping with Eddie was a success.
It isn’t about setting the bar at a different height; it is about setting the bar on a different scale. We weren’t lowering expectations, but changing them instead. The next time, we’ll expect more, and he’ll be ready for more. Based on this camping excursion, there will certainly be a next time and I can’t wait to go.