Last weekend we made our annual pilgrimage to Wicksteed for the last camp of the year… the Single with Kids Campfest. http://www.singlewithkids.co.uk/ For the uninitiated a Campfest is a large mass camping trip. I’m not really a natural camper. I like running water and beds and electricity and room service and not having to build your own bedroom before you can go to sleep. But three years ago when Junior was only three years old I was persuaded by friends to join them at Wicksteed.
At the time, the campsite consisted of a field and a portaloo. Which was fine the first day you went for a wee but after about 120 people had used it for 2 days, it was a somewhat more pungent experience. Despite this I had an insight into why people love camping. Junior ran around safely in a group of people who were all single parents with kids of all ages, not an electronic gadget in evidence anywhere. Then singing around the campfire and roasting marshmallows. Seriously campfires, singing and marshmallows! I kid you not. Wicksteed are one of the few campsites that still allow campfires and a very tired and grubby, very happy boy stayed up late into the night, sitting in my lap, wrapped in a soft blanket in a rare still moment. It was one of those moments, the ones that you just know even as they are happening that you must imprint them on your brain and remember them forever. It hadn’t even been two years since I was half way around the world in a slightly shabby orphanage meeting the small terrified stranger who was to become my lovely boy. And that first night camping, that dozy bundle cuddled up to me sleepily, totally confident that I would keep him safe and love him and put him ahead of everything else in my life. Finally he had what most other children have – he was the most important thing in the world.