“Mom, I’m going to live outside this summer”

One summer, when my youngest son was fourteen, he came home from school. I think he would have been–it was probably the summer after his eighth or ninth grade. Probably ninth grade. He was going into tenth. Came home and said, “Mom, I’m going to live outside this summer,” and he basically pitched the tent in the backyard and said I’m not coming in the house all summer. And I don’t know, he might have mentioned it to me a couple of times prior, but I was like really taken aback. I’m like you can’t be serious. How are you going to eat? How are you going to shower? What are you going to do? You know, and we did help him with food, like I would make sandwiches in the morning before I would go to work. Put them in a cooler and make sure that he had food in a cooler that he could access outside for his meals or share supper with him outside. We ate a lot of meals outside that summer on the deck so he could join us. We grilled out a lot of evenings, I would go out. Well, so he was first in this little tent but then we had some pretty fierce storms come through and tornados and realized that wasn’t the safest place for him to be necessarily. So we–he built a little shack with my husband, which is still standing today and we use it for storage. It was big enough for a bunk bed, some shelves and it did have electricity in it. So he had light that he could use at night if he wanted to read. But you know, very Spartan, and he would cook a lot of his meals are–cooked some things–he always had a campfire going, we have a big yard, so live in the country it was possible to do that. And he had all kinds of adventures of trying to trap birds and hunting, making his own bow and arrow, and working in the garden and helping outside, and he spent–he did, he spent the whole summer outside. He did not come into the house.

Recent Stories