I spent this past weekend with my youngest daughter and her Girl Scout Troup on a camping trip. My previous experience with camping occurred nearly 25 years ago, and because I was a little more adventurous back then, I enjoyed myself. But now that I am fearful of almost every 4-legged creature there is, the idea of camping isn’t at all appealing. Everything about it, insects, sleeping arrangements, no real technology access, communal showers and darkness are all bummers to me.
This same camping trip was offered to us last year, as well. Although my daughter was anxious to attend, I had a scheduling conflict, and we were unable to join the troop. Seeing her disappointed broke my heart. As a result, I knew this year I would have to rearrange my schedule and put my selfish reasons aside for my little girl. Of course as a parent, I could have made the final decision that worked in my favor, (which I honestly considered) but that wouldn’t have been fair. I am sure other parents feel like me. My child’s happiness is more important than my minor inconveniences.
I sucked it up. I prepared myself and faced the bugs as well as nature. Even when my daughter and one of the other Girl Scouts wanted to sit in the extreme darkness to share stories, I stood there (scared we would all be eaten) holding the flashlight. When there was word of a meteor shower happening the last night we were there, I stood again in the dark and cold with her gazing at the stars. Although camping wasn’t something I really wanted to do, I couldn’t have been happier with my decision to go. It was all worth it to witness the look of joy on her face, plus I actually had a really good time. I would go through that same experience again and again, if it would generate the same reaction.
To me, mine was one of the smaller sacrifices we sometimes make as parents. There are other parents who’ve had to make extreme sacrifices for the sake of their children. I think of my own mom, who would go without just so we could have. Whether a parent is funding their child’s dreams or largely supporting them in another capacity, parents have to do what we have to do for our children. Our love for them knows no limits. The moment we bring a child into this world, it is no longer about us. Our primary goal becomes providing that child with everything needed to be happy, healthy and successful. The sooner a parent recognizes that truth the better job they will do overall.
BMWK, what sacrifices have you made for your children?