The best parts

It’s amazing how quickly I fall out of the habit of writing. A few busy days, a (routine) doctor appointment (or two), news of company coming, an afternoon nap, and whoosh, my carefully planned writing time just shrivels up and blows away.

But I’m here to take it back! To reclaim my sacred writing time! To force myself to sit down and write! Because just because I like to write doesn’t actually mean I like to write. Know what I mean?

I made it through the weekend of camping and managed to enjoy myself at the same time, which is a minor miracle, all things considered.

I didn’t sleep (much) the first night and then spent Saturday morning laughing and crying (the theme of the weekend was Laughter and Lament and the speaker delivered a hefty dose of both) so I ended up getting that wicked headache I was so afraid of. I took the pills, and they dulled the pain, but just.

For me, the best part of the weekend was watching my kids have a blast while not actually having to watch them. This was the first year they were independent. They ate and played and showered with their peers. (Okay, so we helped the littlest out with some of that stuff, but just.)

There were many, many, many occasions where I was able to fully sink into a conversation with other adults. Any time I was away from my kids (which was much of the time) or conversing uninterrupted with another adult (again, much of the time), I kept squealing to myself in my brain, “My kids are nowhere in sight and it’s totally okay!” It was kind of like poking at the proverbial sore tooth, but the opposite of that. A jolt of happy, not pain.

(A word to parents with young children that still need their butts wiped: when the little leeches de-leech, it is absolutely and totally the most wonderful thing ever! The agony and mind-numbing routines you are going through now will only heighten the feelings of ecstasy once you are set freeeeee! Believe me, tired friends. It is glorious.)

One thing I learned about camping: my husband—the guy who always picks on me for being such a stick-in-the-mud, anti-camping-and-roughing-it homebody—fussed even more than I did about going rustic. I’d be holding real still on my half of the air mattress, willing myself into the land of nod, and the entire time my husband would be delivering a running diatribe. Stupid air mattress….can’t get comfortable…the ground would be better…it’s hot in here….I’m sticky….everything feels wet…. Etcetera. It was rather distracting.

Now we’re back home and the last of the mountainous pile of laundry is billowing merrily in the breeze. We’re acclimating to being in each other’s space, 24/7, with no friends, ponds, woods to entertain us. It’s going okay, for the most part, though there was that one incident where Daughter One smacked Daughter Two in the mouth and knocked out her (loose) tooth. Once the blood and hollering subsided, I started chuckling (cue more tears from Daughter Two) and couldn’t stop. Then when Daughter One apologized, she quipped “and you’re welcome,” and Daughter Two (once she saw the humor) replied, “I forgive you. And thank you.” Oh my!

But let me tell you, there’s nothing like a mouthful of blood and a flying tooth to make you feel like you’re raising barbarians… (and then a tooth fairy no-show to make you feel like you’re losing your mind).

Oh yeah, and speaking of injuries. At camp, my oldest son ran through a door that wasn’t open.

When our friend reported the incident to us, I had two reactions.

1. “Is the door okay?”
2. Hee-hee-hee— “Wait. Is he okay? Yes? Not crying?” HEE-HEE-HEE-HEE-HEE-HAW-SNORT. I nearly fell off my metal folding chair.

This same time, years previous: lemon butter pasta with zucchini, hot chocolate, brown rice, white rice, and Indian chicken, pear-red raspberry coffee cake, family pictures


  • teekaroo

    I applaud you for remembering toothbrushes. That is the one thing I always manage to forget and the first thing I use when I get back. Ick.
    And I hear you on the out of the habit of writing thing. I'm having a hard time getting back into it.

  • Jennifer Jo

    Mom, Um, just a picture of what camping is—living out of the car and all that botheration. And no, I did not write the whole time we were camping. I was completely unplugged.

  • Mom

    What's that first photo supposed to mean? Is it a reference to Erma Bombeck who'd go out to the car so she could have some peace and quiet to write her column but then sit there fiddling with the dashboard dials, procrastinating?

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