Ever since getting the tent, the kids have been begging to have a camp out in the backyard. The first few nights there have been weather issues. In some cases, a 40 percent chance of rain, and other nights, an 80 percent chance of me not feeling like sleeping outside.

But Monday was a beautiful day and I had run out of excuses, since Amelia has learned to read the magnetized weather monitor we have on our fridge. She brought it over to me and announced that there as no rain in the forecast.

Who am I to argue with science? We set up the tent in the afternoon, and the kids got real excited about pitching in. 


Once we got it back up, the kids played in it for a while before coming to learn the first lesson of camping…tents get real hot when the sun is out. 

Still, they were pretty stoked to actually spend their first night in a tent. It was a pleasant night, and when it got dark I got us set up inside with a nice air mattress and, most importantly, an iPad. We were still in the house’s WiFi range, so thank goodness the kds could still watch Scoob! in the tent. 

It was bedtime, and we all snuggled in with our lantern and water bottles, ready to settle in for the night.

At first Amelia was equal parts thrilled and creeped out. Every time a car would drive down the alley, she would ask, “why is that car driving past?” I couldn’t ask, but if what my parents taught me when I was a kid was any indication, anywhere anyone is going after 9pm can only be up to no good!

She eventually settled down and the kids fell asleep. Just as they were nodding off, we were treated to a very loud police helicopter circling above us for a good 20 minutes. We live in a pretty sleepy suburb of Denver and I certainly was not aware of any riots anywhere remotely close to us, but I was a little nervous. I’m a couple days behind on renewing my vehicle registration and I sweated it for a little while, but the copter eventually left. Got off scot free.

So I settled in for a nice relaxing night under the stars. And started to hear a pitter pat pat pat. Yup, it was starting to rain. Damn you, weather scanner!

I had to get back outside and put the rain shield over the tent. It was my first time doing it, also in the dark, but I frantically scrambled to get the tent water secured. 

Whew! I got it up just in time. Just in time for the rain to stop and not return for the rest of the night.

Oh well. It was our first little camping adventure and went reasonably well. We made it through the night and did not encouter any bears. These days, I’ll take it as a victory.