Things My Daughters Taught Me About Life (While Camping)

Hello again, Glampers!

Not to take our little blog down an existential path, but I’ve recently come to a conclusion while glamping: the more Laura and I take our girls exploring outdoors, the more I realize they’re teaching us as much as we’re teaching them. Somehow, kids seem to come pre-wired for an occasional bout of shockingly zen-like wisdom.  It’s like they’re little Buddhas, except in addition to the secrets to a centered, tranquil life, they can also recite an unnatural amount of My Little Pony trivia.  In just a few years of Glamping, these pint-sized philosophers have unwittingly bestowed upon me dozens of surprisingly astute observations.  Here are the top seven things my daughters have taught me while camping… hopefully they’ll be helpful on your journey to Glamping adventure!

Things My Daughters Taught Me About Life (While Camping):

1) There is always time for a tea party. ALWAYS.

This is more than the tired “stop and smell the roses” crap. This is bigger. I’m talking little cups. I’m talking tiny cute saucers. Extended pinkie fingers, people! This is an active decision to stop, embrace my environment, and roll out the blanket and cucumber sandwiches. Perhaps if I had learned this lesson years ago, I could’ve been spared some serious headaches. Who cares if you’re halfway down the trail? Enjoy a little Chamomile!

2) Who cares if there’s a view at the top?

“Seriously, dad. Who cares?” Just climb, and you’ll probably find some cool bugs along the way. Ooh! And maybe a snake! Coooooool. If you fixate on what’s at the end, you’ll never pay attention to what’s on the trail.

3) Sometimes, you just want to dig a hole

“Kid! What are you doing?!” My daughter gazes proudly at the two-foot hole before her, then at the dirty shovel in her hand. “Digging, dad!” (Like I was a crazy man.) Before I could protest–and I confess I really wanted to–I forced myself to shed my unreasonable annoyance. Who cares why you want to dig a hole? Sometimes, you just want to. Does it hurt anything? No? Then roll with it!

4) A home isn’t always a house

We purchased our camper expressly because we wanted our kids to have some consistent memory of their childhood (the move-every-couple-of-years military life doesn’t lend itself to stability…). Neither Laura nor I could’ve guessed that the kids would essentially consider our Airstream home. We may bounce them from house to house, but they think “Honeysuckle Manor” is home. Time will tell on this one, but so far, our little camper is the closest thing our girls will have to a “childhood home” for the near future. Had I known the corny phrase, “Home is where the heart is,” was so accurate, I would’ve embroidered it on more pillows.

5) You’re not crazy if you want to be a scientist and a superhero-ninja-ballerina

Okay. So maybe the ballerina part doesn’t quite apply to me… but think of the big picture on this one. I’ve been in the military (and a pilot) my entire adult life. These professions tend to consume one’s life, both professionally and personally. It took a fireside “What-do-you-want-to-be” conversation with my little girls to illuminate something I’ve probably always known, but repressed for the sake of comfort. My job is different from my life. I love my job, but I love other things, too.  Glamping (naturally)… homebrewing… blog writing.  Knowing what else I love is important… and I can do both. Sooner or later, my professional career will be over, and I’ll have to ask, “Now what?” I’d better have an answer ready.

6) Occasionally, a good hike is worth a cactus to the face

I mean, it probably doesn’t feel great right after you fall on your face… on a cactus… but the memory is irreplaceable. (Unlike my health insurance premiums…) There are some things in life that justify a little sweat and bloodshed. And pride. Yeah, usually mostly pride.

7) You can do it. Seriously. You can.  

“But dad… What if I can’t do it?” My eldest daughter says this all the time; and frankly, it drives me bonkers. Adults like to think that this is a question only kids ask, but let’s be honest here. I think every grownup asks themselves the same thing every day. I have to go brief the boss? What if I screw it up? What if I say something stupid? No, seriously… what if I say something really, really stupid? I fight this particular gremlin on my shoulder every day. We grownups are just better at pretending we know what we’re doing.

A photo of me at a recent commander’s briefing. “Business, business, business… numbers… (Is this working?)”

A photo of me at a recent commander’s briefing. “Business, business, business… numbers… (Is this working?)”


There are so many more, but these are the big-hitters.  Wisdom derived from Curious George episodes alone would take another article… (I mean seriously, why does he keep trusting that goddamn monkey?!)  I realize these are all things you all probably knew, but sometimes it helps to hear them again.  I certainly benefitted from hearing them again; and the fact that they came from a 5-year-old tells me that they must have some universal truth.  That, or I need to start watching more My Little Pony.

What lessons have your glamper-kids taught you (both on or off the trail)? Comment below and share!

Until next time, keep glamping it up, friends


2 responses to Things My Daughters Taught Me About Life (While Camping)

  1. Rosemary

    As usual, I love reading your posts! Both of you say it so well and it helps having the little spark plugs as an impetus to the humor and insight!


  2. Amazing post! I love the perspective and the insights. I can’t wait until I take make children camping and see the lessons they have for me! Hopefully I can keep up with my superhero-ninja-princess!!


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