On Sunday, Jude and I headed out for our Annual Mother/Child Camping Expedition, an outing that we look forward to all year, a trip full of fun and adventure, where lifelong memories are forged.
But this year?
I hate saying this. I really do. And it was fun. It just wasn't as much fun. It was less fun. It was disappointing.
"Why?" you ask?
Well, I have been trying to figure it out. And I think it was kind of a perfect storm of disappointing events.
First of all, I was still getting over being sick. Still coughing, still exhausted. I just wasn't my usual enthusiastic self. After two days of packing, then driving to the campground, and another hour of unpacking/setting up the tent, I was ready to go to bed. The best part of the trip (for us moms anyway) is that great time after sundown when all the kids are finally in their tents and we get to gather around the campfire, guzzle wine and gossip. It's always big fun. But this year, on the first night, I went in to get Jude settled into bed and I just totally crashed. I went to sleep with the children. It was pathetic.
Second, FIVE (I think I'm counting right) of our usual families couldn't make it this year. BIG DRAG. And even though we had some newbies who proved to be fabulous additions to the group, totally willing and able to jump in and provide Sister Wife companionship to us all, it just wasn't the same without the usuals.
And it wasn't as fun for the kids either. The two best parts of this campground that we go to are the great water features. We camp right on a creek, which in the past has provided endless entertainment for the children. Wading, catching tadpoles, throwing rocks. Lots of good fun. But this year, we're having such a dry spell that the creek was practically dried up. A miserable little trickle.
The second brilliant and fun-filled water feature is an actual mini-waterpark, right there next to the campground. It's a wonderful thing for two reasons - 1. The children are entertained for HOURS, either on the water playground thingy, or floating around the Lazy River. 2. The moms can just lie there in the sun and ignore the children completely for HOURS because of the small army of lifeguards on hand. It's very civilized. But this year...June Gloom bit us in the butt, and it was COLD, damn it. I mean, not freezing, but it was in the 60s, and that water was damn chilly. So after about an hour, we had 25 whiny, shivering little kids, all asking to go back to the campsite. Boohoo for moms.
Jude was disappointed for an entirely different reason.
Some of you may remember that last year, on this very same outing, Jude and his BFF and wingman AJ invited all of the girls into our tent to play Truth or Dare. It was apparently deeply titillating, and he has been thinking about it all year. He informed me on Sunday afternoon, that he was planning to invite the...and I swear I'm quoting here..."chicks" for a little party in our tent. He planned to serve potato chips and Trader Joe's chocolate cat cookies. He had clearly thought this out. I hedged, and suggested that they tell ghost stores around the campfire instead. Which they thought sounded fun. Fun, that is, until one of the girls told a story that freaked them out, sending them all running to their respective tents for safety, and blowing Jude's plan.
The next afternoon, Jude told me that he was still determined to have the little "chick party", and had actually invited the girls and they had accepted. He was very excited. Unfortunately (for him), the party never happened due to a series of unfortunate events...
First, I was stung by a bee. On my hand. It was painful, but...whatever. Then, about 10 minutes later, one of the boys ran into a pole and split his lip on his braces - blood everywhere. Within 5 minutes, one of the girls fell off her scooter and had bloody scrapes and cuts all down one side of her body. And about 1 minute later, another girl was bit by THREE bees. It was a disaster. Everyone brought out their First Aid kids (it was moms camping, after all, so 12 moms = 12 First Aid kits). And Jude's little partay was completely thwarted because now two of the five girls he had invited were injured, crying messes.
I was fairly relieved by this turn of events. Jude, however, is not daunted. He is determined to succeed in having his "chick party" next year. I can't decide whether to be horrified by his interest in the girls, or proud of his determination.
I did manage to rally and made the moms campfire session on the last night. I also celebrated a momentous occasion with these women. Any men who happen to be reading might want to skip to the end of this paragraph. You've been warned. On last year's camping trip, I had my period. And it was the last one. Yes, that's right. After a year, I am officially declaring myself post-menopausal. (CUE either fireworks and applause or a funeral dirge, depending on how you see this turn of events) I brought out a bag of all of my old, leftover feminine hygiene products, and we had a ceremonial Burning of the Tampons. I'm not sure if this is a traditional celebration, but I thought it fitting.
So there you have it. Jude's at the beginning of his raging hormones, and I'm at the end. Such is life.
My friend Carol, who is an excellent photographer, sent me all of these pictures. And after flipping through them, I'm thinking it was actually a pretty good time after all. I mean, look at these faces...
And these women...
Can't wait until next year!
More spins about The Great Outdoors...
Ginny Marie at Lemon Drop Pie - NEW on FRIDAY
Next week on The Spin Cycle...
Next week is the Fourth of July, and I thought it was high time we got a little patriotic around here.
What does America mean to you? Purple mountain majesties? Amber waves of grain? Alabaster cities?
Are you a patriot? An anarchist? Did your ancestors come over on the Mayflower? Or on a raft?
American ingenuity? American Pie? American Idol? American Airlines? American Express?
Write your spin on America. Write it. Post it. Let me know. I'll link it.
See you next week for my spin on America. And Happy Fourth of July!
Share your spin!
Highlight the code.
Copy to your HTML.
Et voila! Linked!