I bought it twelve years ago. My kids, still young, wanted me to initiate them into holidays in a tent. Alexandra at 9, Stergios at 4. Guests on the property of a close woman friend. All the women would go along with our kids. I didn’t own a tent, so I did some market research. This was the most expensive one but also, I was assured, the best: “It’s a four-season tent, you see.” I was thinking on it when my husband called who said to go ahead and buy it at once, because he was dreaming of tent holidays in winter and summer. At the property, everyone laughed at me. “Let’s see you in the tent in winter!”
When I unfolded it, I realized that all these years I had been a stage hand, following orders, but I’d never set up a tent all on my own. The children were looking on, waiting for my instructions. I didn’t want to disappoint them, so, after an ordeal of several hours, the three of us managed to enter the tent. From that moment on, the complaints started. “I don’t like sleeping on the ground. I don’t like bugs. I’m scared of the dark that moves about all over the tent.” We overcame all of those. And, soon enough, we were happy as larks and all set to enjoy our holidays. We laughed, no matter that there was dirt being carried into the tent, we carefully took out any uninvited insects and the darkness was the departure point for the next story.
I remember the two children insisted that I sleep in the middle. We left the back window open. I was listening to them breathing and looking up at the stars. It seemed to me that a star blinked, as if it heard my wish. “That we always be well. That we hug so there’s room for all of us in the tent. That we travel. That we get to know the world. That my children become travelers.”
I came across the tent again, twelve years later. The children decided to set a tent up on Elygia beach. Before promising I would go to Heraklion to buy them one, I discovered in the storeroom the tent with the brand name: 4 seasons. I sent the children a picture of it. “Is that the one from the property in Astros? Well done, mom, it was worth every penny!”
All these years and the promise was still good: “summer and winter holidays in a tent.” I momentarily thought of grumbling but then remembered all the fond summers I’d spent with my children in beds, beaches, balconies. And I did succeed in making them love summers, gorges, isolated beaches, expeditions and adventures. I had managed it. Even though the tent waited for all those years. The wish came true. My children became four-season travelers.