Camp Kids and Five Year Dreams

6 May

We took Max camping for the first time last week. I’d been wanting to do it all summer but kept making excuses not to, I love camping but the prospect of going with a toddler didn’t inspire great confidence in me. Rest is a precious commodity for all parents, would I return feeling rested? Another precious commodity is fresh air and excitement, so we packed our car and set off for Wilsons Promontory. More and more parenting for me is about embracing challenges and not allowing it to dictate the terms and conditions of day to day life.

I have no idea who Wilson is but my gosh he has a spectacular Promontory! I have been before when the weather was a bit average and I could see it’s a place of epic beauty but this particular weekend we were treated to sunshine and blue skies and WP certainly responded well. The Prom juts out the most Southern tip of mainland Australia as if to say “look at me aren’t I pretty”. It’s predominantly bush that is punctuated with white powdery beaches, sweeping granite rock formations and crystal clear water. When we arrived in Melbourne 5 years ago we were practically driven there by every proud Victorian we met.
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On entry we searched for a suitable spot to pitch our tent; we bypassed stoner’s corner, the local footy team tour, the family with 53 children and settled for a suitably peaceful alcove. Mrs Under subscribes to the theory ‘if you want something doing properly do it yourself’ and I’m too lazy to even subscribe to a theory so I took Max down to the beach whilst she tried to make things homely. There are beaches and there are beaches and Max has been to beaches but this was his first beach. What I’m trying to say is that when you compare Melbourne’s busy beaches complete with sunburnt tourists and dubious smelling sea with the pure serenity of the The Prom there really is no comparison they are two different things.

The tide was out and the beach which went on and on was deserted but for father and son. Max froze, I thought he must have hurt his foot but when I went to check his face was lit up with joy, he was just taking a moment to soak it all up. He dropped his bucket and spade and charged down the beach, as much as a toddler can charge. He didn’t really seem to know where he was charging he just liked that he could charge without bumping into someone or something.
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The sight of this confirmed what I want from my life and for Max’s life. When I go to my happy places, my favourite memories, they all take place in the great outdoors and involve adventure and excitement. You don’t get adventure and excitement in the city, well you do, but most of its illegal. I don’t want Max to have an ordinary upbringing I want it to be extraordinary. Above all else it’s important for me to expose Max to what I would call a ‘real childhood’. That means climbing trees, building dens, making bows and arrows and generally being a boy. I hate the idea of wrapping him in cotton wool removing all potential for adventure and yes a little bit of danger.

It seems that everyone has five year plans these days and aspirations for themselves and their families. What I want is to be surrounded by nature in Tasmania. I want Max to wake up each morning excitedly wondering whether any of the chickens have laid. I want to have a large veggie patch and fruit trees that provide for us. I want a tepee at the bottom of a paddock that can house and nurture Max’s burgeoning imagination and Mum and Dad’s occasional soirees. I want a claw foot bath that we can wallow in and gaze up at the stars. I want a comfy chair on a veranda to sit in and quietly observe Max playing with his little brothers and sisters.
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I know that’s a lot of wants and it might sound greedy but that’s my 5 year dream. Do you still dream? What’s yours?

As always linking up with Jess at Essentially Jess

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26 Responses to “Camp Kids and Five Year Dreams”

  1. rhian @melbs May 6, 2013 at 5:03 am #

    I’m welling up here!
    Wilsons Prom looks absolutely breathtaking, my bro went for the weekend while he was here and said pretty much the same as you (apart from the children bit), he said it was amazing and we should go. We did try to go over New Year but were too chicken to camp with a toddler and couldn’t find accommodation. We WILL go soon though.

    • daddownunder May 6, 2013 at 8:31 am #

      Why are you welling up Rhian, I wasn’t even aiming for tears : ) Bite the bullet Rhian, its worth a couple of sleepless nights for all the fun you’ll have, highlight for us was an impromptu bear/wombat hunt led by Max and his torch.

      • rhian @melbs May 6, 2013 at 9:04 am #

        All those plans for the future just got me all emotional- what can I say! I think we will it may have to be sooner rather than later though I don’t fancy camping in the depths of winter.

      • daddownunder May 6, 2013 at 11:49 am #

        I look forward to reading all about it Rhian : )

  2. Kassey May 6, 2013 at 5:23 am #

    We were there last week too! Though not brave enough for a tent with an under 1 we took a hut. I’d never been when its so quiet at the prom. Wasn’t that deserted beach just awesome?
    We talked of packing it all up and getting jobs with parks Victoria and living at the prom. More of a ‘when the kids are 18’ dream as opposed to 5 years.

    • daddownunder May 6, 2013 at 8:34 am #

      We had the exact same conversation Kassey, we have got our eye on Tassie, I think its got lots to offer a family of outdoors enthusiasts. Watch this space.

  3. onemumsadventure May 6, 2013 at 9:52 am #

    My five year dream is one much the same.We plan on settling down in a little village down south within the next 18 months,buying a home fit for our family of six (possibly more) and having acres of land for our kids to run free on.We want a little river for them to catch tadpoles and throw fishing lines in and make their own rafts on.We want large trees to climb and space for them to swing from fences and ride horses and tend a veggie patch and fruit trees,sit around a bon fire talking and playing music.Nothing fancy,just a lot of laughter,dirty feet and good time.The only thing I like about the ”city” is the coffee,museums and art galleries.The peace and quiet (other then the animals) of the bush is our dream 🙂 I can think of nothing better then my kids having the childhood I had,possibly better!Your aiming for something special,priceless,achievable and worthy Matt!

    • daddownunder May 6, 2013 at 10:15 am #

      Oh my gosh, you’ve definitely sold me your dream too. If (when) we both get there we should do a house swap just so we get to try eachothers out ; ) Thanks for commenting.

  4. onemumsadventure May 6, 2013 at 9:55 am #

    Oh,and we just booked a holiday in Tassie!We are going to Adventure Bay (stunning place) for 2 weeks over Christmas.Right by the river,a little boat and canoe and a boat house surrounded by stunning mountains and fresh air!
    Bring on Christmas!

    • daddownunder May 6, 2013 at 10:16 am #

      Not fair! That sounds amazing, could you send me the details of the property?

  5. onemumsadventure May 6, 2013 at 10:23 am #

    I’ll send you a message with them.There are loads of properties all around Tassie,but Adventure Bay seems a little more off the map and family friendly.And has a farm right near it that the kids will love visiting for the day.(You know this is me Jessi (Let the Wildflowers Grow) right Matt?LOL.I changed my Blog name since we aren’t Homeschooling anymore.

    • daddownunder May 6, 2013 at 11:17 am #

      I’ve worked it out now Jessi but at first I was a little confused : )

  6. Rory mouttet May 6, 2013 at 1:49 pm #

    I didn’t have a plan but I just started thinking about it.

    • daddownunder May 6, 2013 at 10:09 pm #

      Theirs plans and there’s dreams, I think mine is a dream with the potential to become a plan. It’s good to dream : )

  7. kellie May 6, 2013 at 9:46 pm #

    You have such a way with words. Max is one lucky little boy xx

    • daddownunder May 6, 2013 at 10:08 pm #

      Thanks Kellie, that’s very kind of you and music to my ears

  8. Miss Cinders May 6, 2013 at 11:26 pm #

    Your 5 year plan sounds like ours… although we’re kind of living ours already.

    My kids have lived in suburbia, the bush, and now rural. Honestly the happiest they have ever been was when we were out bush. Nature has a way with kids, it brings them happiness and opens their minds up 🙂

    Awesome post 🙂

    MC
    #teamIBOT

    • daddownunder May 7, 2013 at 1:41 am #

      Thanks very much Miss Cinders, they probably all have their pros and cons but I think your right being out there in the wild gives kids and big kids something special

  9. Nikki Parkinson (@StylingYou) May 7, 2013 at 12:29 am #

    Oh that’s just too precious … I’m not a fan of camping except under the 5 stars of a hotel chain. 5-year-plan, gosh … getting through next 12 months and moving is a big one, ask me again next year!

    • daddownunder May 7, 2013 at 1:44 am #

      I reckon you could be converted to camping Nikki, I could picture you whipping up some damper on the camp fire, a few songs before snuggling into your sleeping bag? Maybe not : )

  10. Alex aka WHOA MUMMA! May 7, 2013 at 4:25 am #

    Yup. I know exactly how you feel. A house surrounded by trees, near the sea, near the mountains, with room for the kids to camp, a fire pit, some chickens…it’s not too much to ask for is it?

    • daddownunder May 7, 2013 at 5:36 am #

      I dont think so either Alex, if you find a way to make that happen give me a shout : )

  11. Sonia Life Love Hiccups May 7, 2013 at 9:32 am #

    “Max froze, I thought he must have hurt his foot but when I went to check his face was lit up with joy, he was just taking a moment to soak it all up. ”
    How to make a girl go all mushy and drip mascara down her face!

    • daddownunder May 7, 2013 at 10:08 am #

      Yes!!! I love making mascara drip – mission accomplished

  12. Have a laugh on me May 7, 2013 at 11:02 am #

    Ummm, I can’t get past this statement, watching ”his little brothers and sisters” and then laughing because there is no way you’ll be sitting on a chair watching them, you’ll be stopping them from body slamming or burying each other in the sand!!! (says the cynical mum of three) Lovely post BTW x

    • daddownunder May 7, 2013 at 12:07 pm #

      You could be right Em things always look better in dreams don’t they ; )

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