The kids and I got away for a camping adventure in the rocky mountains with my family last week. Whether we were just sitting around the campfire, skipping rocks on the river, naively wandering the forest trails while bears were likely not far off, playing card games, hiking mountain paths to find waterfalls, savouring an ice cream cone, or cooking up another epic potluck supper, there was always something to do. Our campground had no showers, so a trip to Banff Upper Hot Spring was in order midway through the trip so we could all have a good soak, and I savoured that shower like none other!

hot springs


The main reason that Clay didn’t join us on this trip is because of his allergies: he is essentially allergic to camping. Trees are not his friend, since something is usually budding, pollenating, and generally allergen-ating. Add campfire smoke to his asthmatic lungs and the result is one unhappy camper who has a hard time breathing! He thrives in concrete jungles, not woodlands. Ours has not been a camping family because Clay is not a camping guy. When we are away from home, our accommodations are air conditioned hotels that give him an allergy free escape from the world outside. I love nice hotels, and after nearly 11 years of marriage, thought that I didn’t really like camping. Until this trip.


Despite the emotional rollercoaster of being without my best friend, I had a really great time. I’m okay with dirty feet, primitive toilets, lack of showers, and going to bed bathed in campfire smoke. I’m a fan of lazy days in the campground, wandering down to the river’s edge to watch the kids skip rocks and breathe in the view. I thought hotel life in a tourist town was more my style, but the times I was wandering the touristy streets of Banff and Canmore were so draining on me.

I realized that I actually like camping, and I came home feeling quite apologetic about that.

I showed Clay all the pictures I took on our trip, worried he wouldn’t think much of them. You know how it is when you’ve gone somewhere wonderful and you worry people won’t understand how great it was when you try to show them? Yeah, that.

But he did appreciate the window into our week away, and at the end of it all he told me he was glad that we had so much fun.

I nearly missed it: he was happy that we had a great time.

I had been fearful that my enjoyment of something that he doesn’t enjoy was a problem. Though he does not share the same enjoyment, he doesn’t discourage us from having fun doing something he wasn’t able to share in. We are different, and that’s not only okay, but good. I’m slowly learning that our differences aren’t problems to be managed, but are opportunities to grow in understanding of one another, giving each other the freedom to fly in the unique abilities and passions that God has given us.


What are some differences you have encountered in your marriage, and how do you graciously deal with those differences?

One Response to “Different is good.”

  1. Mom:

    What a great time we had.Hope we can do it again.

Add Your Comment