A Camping Alphabet Post

September 19, 2010 at 4:48 pm (AJ, Family, GOJ, MJ, PJ, School, WJ)

I’m the volunteer “librarian” in Auden and Parker’s class.  Last week’s theme was alphabet books, which inspired this post on this weekend’s camping trip with Auden and Parker’s school.

A is for Auden, my favorite babysitter for Willa.  He’ll willingly sit next to her while I do things like go to the restroom or fetch water.

B is for Bailey’s, what I’m drinking in my coffee this morning to recover.

C is for coffee.  Which I needed Saturday morning and did not ever get.

D is for downpour, of the long-lasting kind.

E is for eagle, an animal our family is constantly on the lookout for.  It’s actually pretty amazing how often we can spy a bald eagle around here.  Me, I forget to look up, but the generally boys have less to pull their eyes downward.  Exactly the way it’s supposed to be.

F is for fort, that the boys and friends had ever so much fun making.  Bonus for mom is the exhaustion that carrying huge driftwood logs all day entails.

G is for Greta, a girl of her own mind.  You know how you see moms walking away from their children, saying, “OK, I’m going now,” and the kid eventually runs to catch up?  This does not work with Miss G.  I can get out-of-sight a hundred feet away, peek to look back, and Greta is still squatting to look at rocks, completely unconcerned for her safety.

H is for Heather has a Headache.  When the sun appeared at noon, we were beachcombing with no sunglasses or hats.  Within an hour, I had a headache from squinting.  Within another hour, I had a really bad headache and was dragging four children back to the campsite so I could puke in the bushes in peace.  I certainly have experience with the combo of camping and throwing up, but it’s supposed to also involve whiskey and a rocking good night beforehand.

I is for insane, my mental state when I agreed Mark should go down to the Husky-Nebraska game from the camping spot.  Had I calculated between tail-gating, driving, traffic, and the game itself I’d be left alone for EIGHT hours with four kids of widely varying interests and walking speeds, I would not have said “Oh sure, honey, you’ve wanted to go to a game forever.”  Or more realistically, as he really has wanted to go forever, we would not have gone camping.

J is for just barely, the way I held it together.

K is for Krispy Treats, our contribution to Saturday night’s potluck.  (Parker’s contribution- I couldn’t think of K.)

L is for living room, where we had our cosy fire on Saturday night.

M is for Mark, who was a sight for sore eyes when he returned from the game.  How grateful I was at that moment that I am not a single mom.  Sometimes I love my husband because he’s my Man, sometimes I love him because he’s Help. Picture “Oh, Help” as asked for by Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music.

N is for new friends.  All the craziness was worth watching my boys develop friendships with kids they will know for years to come.  And I met some very nice parents, also, although I had to get past my anxiety that they were all wondering what in the world I was doing there with four children by myself and beholden to their help.

O is for Oreo.  What is a mother to do to contain her four children while she vomits?  Give them Oreos in the tent!  Crumbs be damned!

P is for Parker.  Parker, who loves life to its fullest, then crumples and still needs his Mama’s fullest attention.

Q is for quit, which is what we did Saturday evening.  I have never made the decision to come home a day early from camping, but in this case- best decision EVER.

R is for Ranger Dave.  A very nice guy invited to give an instructional beach walk.  What happened instead, however, was a sit-quietly-at-a-picnic-table-listen-to-me-ramble.  My children were not amused.  School on a Saturday?  Too much to ask.

S is for Survivor Games, which Parker played with fifty other kids from his school.

T is for tent.  Thank goodness for rain flies.

U is for Urine.  Middle-of-the-night urine in sleeping bags, daytime urine puddling in shoes.  Urine, urine, urine.  Greta did not once use the actual campground bathrooms the entire time we were there, if that’s any indication of the clothing changes we had.  Though I’ve considered her potty trained since last January, I finally put her in a pull-up around the time I started throwing up.

V is for van.  A mini van is to be celebrated when packing up camp in the dark rain can be done by throwing it all in the back without rolling a camp pad or stuffing a bag.

W is for Willa, my sweet sweet easy baby.  Oh my goodness how I love this little (big!) bundle of fleece in my lap!

X is for the pedestrian X-Ray, which we did not need to examine the fish spines we found on the beach.

Y is for yurt, which we were not staying in, unlike many of the families.  But now we know how to spell it!

Z is for the zealous love that I feel for this camping family of mine.

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