IT’S SUMMERTIME BABY. Well, maybe for you it isn’t yet. Maybe you’re still taking classes or maybe the summer solstice hasn’t officially hit or maybe you’re living in Australia where it’s currently weirdly winter. Regardless of your/Earth’s situation, my camp-counseling self needed some blogging help this summer. And thus I present, “Wandering Wednesday: Guest Post Edition.”
To kick off this summer series, Kevin Haggerty — or K-Haggs, as I never call him — is here to talk about a time he found himself wandering. Take it away, K-Haggs!
Have you ever been lost?
I don’t just mean the kind of lost, like when you can’t find your car In the parking lot or inconveniently miss your exit off the interstate. I mean really, really lost, to the point where you’re ready to cry.
When I was a kid, growing up in California, we used to go on vacation, as a family, to Yosemite National Park. It’s a fantastic place to get away. If you’re ever able to visit, I highly recommend it.
Every year, it was something to look forward to. Getting reservations at Yosemite were tough to come by. We would literally “camp out” outside the box office to buy campsite reservations, as if they were tickets to a Justin Bieber concert.
It was a big deal. If you didn’t get there at the crack of dawn, you weren’t getting a campsite. In retrospect, it sounds insane, but it made sense then and we loved it.
That year, we rented an R.V. It was amazing. It had bunks and places to hide. It had a loft style bed that was located over the driver seat. Crazy, right?
On one evening that will forever be remembered in the annals of history, I decided to hop on my bike and go exploring.
This wasn’t unusual. We did it all the time. But my parents were always firm on the boundaries. They gave me landmarks to use as my perimeter. I wasn’t supposed to go any farther in either direction.
I knew that, but whether it was outright rebellion or just plain forgetfulness, I went farther.
I went a lot farther.
By the time I knew it, I had no idea where I was. The campsites ran together and started looking the same. I tried to retrace my steps (or pedals), but it only got me more and more lost.
Eventually, it got to the point where I had no idea where I was. It was getting dark. I was just a kid. Every possible worst case scenario started running through my mind.
My parents wouldn’t be able to find me. They’d be worried. Maybe I wouldn’t get back in time and they’d leave me in Yosemite.
It sounds crazy now, but I was little. What did I know?
I’ll tell you what I didn’t know, and that’s “how to get back to my campsite.”
Luckily, a nice family saw me riding around, at this point, completely broken down in tears. They decided to help me, and began asking me questions about where I had come from, etc.
They walked with me back in the direction that they thought I may have come from. Finally, I saw them. It was parents. I was crying. They were crying.
It was like something from a movie.
When I got back to the campsite, my dad took me aside and told me he loved me. He told me he was so scared and he was glad to have me back. He also told me that he was disappointed in me for not following their guidelines. He disciplined me. I remember that.
For my dad, it was important to show me that he loved me, but also that I could never do anything like that again. We were lucky that time. There’s no guarantee we’d be so fortunate in the future.
I’m thankful; for parents who loved me enough to give me restrictions. I’m more thankful that they loved me enough to enforce those restrictions when I drew outside the lines. Rules don’t really matter if there is no correction on the other side of them.
My parents painted the perfect picture of God and His love. He gives us restrictions, but they’re not to stifle or to kill our buzz. He’s trying to protect us. He loves us.
I’m thankful for that.
Got any crazy family vacation stories? Your turn!
K-Haggs runs one of my favorite blogs, The Isle of Man. You can follow him on Twitter @kevinrhaggerty. You can also click here to get his FREE e-book, An Idiot’s Guide to the Galaxy. And you can check out inevitably adorable pictures of his firstborn son when he’s born later this summer.
Wanna submit your own Wandering Wednesday? Check out this infotastic post and shoot me an email at onetz53[AT]gmail[DOT]com.