Camping is 85% ridiculous amount of work to make homelessness feel like home, and 15% incredible moments that make it totally worth it.
Our trip included eight families (16 adults, 17 children), 2 dogs, 6 tents, 2 trailers, meals for over 30, plans for 4 days, and loads of courage, careful planning, and ever-present willingness to abandon all the planning and embrace the chaos.
We started with ideas, and then lists. And then days of planning, stacking, storing, refrigerating, packing, and forgetting a thing or two, and then remembering again. And writing it down this time.
We packed up the car, at which point Tucker said, "It's okay, Mommy. If there isn't enough room in the car, we'll just get a new car." A good thought, really. Hooray for Daddy and his innate, genetic packing abilities. If it were up to me, well, let's not go there. Spacial awareness is not my spiritual gift.
Finally - yes, boys, finally - it was Time To Go.
Every little camper needs a head lamp.
And we even saw a bear. We really did.
See that black dot in the middle? It's a black bear.
I realize you can't see it well; we couldn't either.
Enter this little wonder. Perfectly pointed, and when one poised on his very tippy toes, that bear was up close and personal.
And on a 'dollar bet', I entered this glacial, mountain run-off lake, all the way up to my knees.
The things I'll do for a buck. 'Freeze my own limbs' is apparently notwithstanding.
(And in an easier bet, I earned a dollar for faking a dramatic sighting of Charlie Sheen in Aspen, Colorado. That was a fine moment, right there.)
And then, of course, there was an evening of sparklers. I know birthdays, and America demands sparklers on her birthday.
There are no pictures of Tyler with a sparkler, mostly because he believed I had nearly lost my mind when I tried to hand him an ignited, flaming torch. He gave me a look that said, "Are you kidding? Do you know me? I'm three."
Instead, Tucker entertained him with his sparkler routine, which included swirls, flips, and handwriting practice. He even said, "It's okay, Tyler. You don't have to be afraid. I'll write your name, too. T for Tyler, Y for Tyler, L for Tyler, E for Tyler, and R for Tyler."
(And I didn't know he coule spell his brother's name.)
(That has been one of my favorite moments of their life together thus far.)
The Kid Crew...