I don't post on here too often, but I suppose Flo wasn't exactly there to get the scoop. This last weekend was the Aaronic Priesthood Commemoration Campout (better known to some as Fathers and Sons). For those who aren't familiar, it is an annual campout through church that usually falls about the middle of May. It is only boys and men who go (women usually stay home and party without their husbands :). In any case, this is the first year Isaac got to go since he is nearly two and managable on such an adventure.
About 1-2 months ago, we started going to the mall occasionally to play at one of the sporting goods stores to play - Isaac particularyly liked the tents. So about 2weeks ago, Big 5 sporting had tents and camping chairs for sale. We went and Isaac helped pick out the camping gear. We started telling him about camping. Actually sleep in a tent?! He loved the idea! We put it on the calendar and marked down the days. Flo started explaining a few days in advance that she would not be going with us. Ironically, one night as we were preparing to go out, I said, "Come on, Isaac. Let's go!" He turned around to his mama and giving a hug, said, "Bye, bye, mama!" Yeah, he thought we were going camping that night.
It's also important to realize that we have talked to him about sometime being able to go somewhere in papa's truck. This was another point of excitement! We would be traveling to the camp site in my truck. So finally, on that day, Isaac helped pull out all the camping gear, and Flo got our snacks together (about 2 meals worth of snacks!) We kept having to tell him that we were leaving after his nap. Let's just say we are lucky he eventually took a nap!
Flo saw us out the door and waved goodbye and off into the sunset we drove. . . The end.
Just kidding, here's the best part! We had lots of fun! There wasn't any one fun or special time. As is true in most of life, it was a cluster of special moments that brought smiles and feelings of pride for my growing son. I have to admit that I was very excited about the trip to begin with. One of the many fond memories I have with my dad is going camping - especially since we did it all the time. Now I was able to share it with my son.
As we drove down the highway, I started pulling out the snacks. We shared veggie straws first (straw-formed chips). We started breathing through the straw, then laughing! We listened to nice music and breathed freedom for a while! When we got there (a little campsite about 3.5 miles along Dugas road), we set up camp. He was happy to help with the tent. Once the sleeping bags were laid down, he hopped into his and just wanted to be "cozy" for a while. I wondered if he would try to go to bed at that moment just to be sleeping in a tent and in a sleeping bag. He loved it! Once out of the tent, he was off to find a friend or two by the little creek running about 100-150 feet away. We through rocks and sticks in the water. We ate s'mores. We even read bedtime stories before bed. Then, we actually went to bed around 9:30 pm. Of course, the other boys and men stayed up making plenty of noise - they quieted down around 10:30 pm and we fell asleep around then.
The next morning, it was surprisingly cool! I woke up around 5:45 am and that's when Isaac's head popped of the pillow (I would have fallen back asleep!) I told him, "Isaac, it's cold out! Let stay in our sleeping bags and stay warm!" He happily agreed! Of course, he kept saying, "Hi!" and "Morning!" After about 10 minutes, I got his coat on him and we went out. We had a nice breakfast, through some more rocks in the water, and packed up. Funny how when you get up at 5:45 am that when 9 am rolls around, it feels like you've been there all morning! That's about when we left. We had more veggie straws and dried mango on the way home. I asked him if he liked camping and he quickly nodded yes. We got home and he was super excited to see his mama! He was already tired and gladly took his nap around 1 pm.
It isn't as if he was smiling and shouting with glee during the whole trip to let me know he was having fun. In fact, if I didn't know better, he would have looked kind of bored a lot of the time to me. Later that evening on Saturday, though, I could tell in how he interacted with me, that we had shared a special time camping. We had an opportunity to be together and have fun. We "worked", played, ate, threw rocks, and more.