A couple of weekends ago, I went camping. My packing list included a pack of baby wipes, but Adlai wasn’t on this trip. It’s just that, since he was born, Faith and I have discovered that wipes are the most useful invention in history, and we can’t understand why we never thought to buy them before. I thought they’d be handy for camping in Wales for things like cleaning my hands before a dinner of beans, washing my face each morning, and you know…when nature called… and all that.
This camping trip was in Snowdonia (Wales, for any of you not well-versed in UK geography). It was a weekend trip with a group of men from my church, and I chose to camp alone in the tent I’ve had since I first went to Reading Festival at the age of 16. Several of the other men opted for the campsite’s bunkhouse, and on the long drive up to Snowdonia, with the sky looking a bit gray, I wondered if I had made the right choice. But when I saw 15 sweaty men crammed into a 10×4 metre cabin, I knew my tent was going to serve me well.
It did, too. After a long hike up and down Snowdon, it was the perfect place to lay my head. All by myself. With not another sweaty man in sight. I slept pretty well in that little tent. As I had a weekend away from my 20-month-old son, I thought I might get a bit of a lie-in. But, as it turns out, birds wake up earlier than Adlai, so I found myself up before the sun. Thankfully, I took along some strong coffee, which I drank as I watched the sunrise.
When I returned home Sunday night, Adlai and Faith gave me a hero’s welcome. They had missed me. But the hugs were over quickly and I was shooed to the shower. It turns out a baby wipe bath is not an acceptable form of personal hygiene back in the civilized world.