Six days and counting. We’re all excited, but I intend to draw it out. I’m going to savor each and every moment leading up to our departure.

Six days until our first camping trip of the summer. Six days until we load the car with the bare necessities. Six days until we close up the house, leaving the realities and responsibilities behind. Six days until we return to ourselves.

In preparation I will make a list. Food we want, the special things that we eat only in the wilderness. Sugary cereals, smoked sausages to roast over the fire, eggs to cook quickly after our hike, whole melons, and marshmallows, of course marshmallows. And beer.

Also on the list: sunscreen, band aids, flip flops, a new frisbee, some rope, bug spray, ice. Only the necessities, remember?

After shopping, I will pack, arranging everything carefully so unpacking will be effortless. I will stuff the cooler and have it ready to toss in the trunk at the last moment.

I will check the directions and show the kids the campground on the map. I will begin the process of detangling from the demands of home. I will begin to let go.

I will make a playlist of music, a small pile of books to direct my thoughts in their wandering. I will pack my art supplies and sketchbook. Finally, when all is readied, I will wait, excitedly. I will close up the house, shut the curtains and leave things neat to ease our return.

At last, when the sixth day arrives, I will help load the car. I will buckle the baby into his carseat and watch as the kids settle themselves into their seats. As we begin to drive I’ll let my thoughts go, watching and listening. Being. At last.

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