I Left My Baby in the Woods

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Captain’s Log. Diaper Date 2836. Daddy Chronicles. I Left My Baby in the Woods.

To be clear, this is not a story desertion, instead this is a coming of age story – I’m just not sure whose. You see, I left my daughter in the woods- for Girl Scout camp.

She has been enjoying Girl Scouts for some time now and learning valuable things. Today is different though- she is staying. Overnight. In the WOODS.

I’m from the city. I love walls, a roof, and running water. I like to catch my food at the store and cook it on my stove. I don’t like bugs. I don’t like dirt. I don’t like camping. I like the outdoors, but in small doses. I prefer to meet on my terms and with an escape clause. I was a Boy Scout once. For a day.

My daughter is learning to be different. She’s growing up. There is an air of independence about her. Determination. Confidence. And I’m more than okay with that. I want her to learn and explore and not feel inhibited by the four walls of our home. I want her to appreciate all that our grand world offers.

When I dropped her off, I was the one who asked for the second hug. I was the one who looked back again to see her. And maybe I am the one still growing. And learning. And trusting.

There’s a lot I have to ignore. I’m trying to be careful not share my insecurities with her about the outdoors, the elements, the weather, the bugs, the fact that I can’t identify poison ivy. You get the idea. I may be a quiet worrier by nature, but as a dad, I’m trying to learn to separate the worries from the concerns and give little credence to the worries.

And so I drove off and left my baby in the woods. Without a concern. I’m sure she will have a blast, and true to form, I’m sure she won’t tell me much about it.

And I have a feeling that after this she is going to want to camp out in the backyard again. Now THAT has me worried.

If you will excuse me, I’m off to buy some bug spray and candles. I can’t let the outdoors win.

That is it for now. Captain…out.

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