My blog is 346 pages long – single spaced! It is approximately the equivalent of a nearly 700 page novel. Now, I just need to figure out what to do with it and who would want to read 700 pages of me whining about the injustices of my near-perfect life, and we’ll be golden! (Just thought you should know).
Boys. Boys and bugs. Aren’t they supposed to be somewhat compatible? Once I got over the shock of Matthew being a boy with boy parts and not an Abigail Madeline girl with girly parts, I started thinking about the benefits of having a son, and honestly, one of my initial woo-hoo-moments was the proclamation, “I don’t have to kill anymore spiders!” Can someone please explain to both of my boys that they’re kinda droppin’ the ball on this?
Last week, the boys were playing outside while I cut the grass. All was well until I was dramatically summoned. With arms flailing, the boys jumped up and down yelling wordlessly over the roar of the mower. I cut the engine.
“Yes?” I say.
“You gotta come quick!” Zach pants.
“Yeah,” Matthew adds, “There are bugs in the Boys’ Club.” (The “Boys’ Club” is the small cube-like-with-a-slide plastic play structure in the backyard. Its’ four walls (no floor, no ceiling) have occupied a lot of their imagination this summer as it was deemed the “Boys’ Club.”
I don’t even pretend to be sympathetic. “Just get a stick and fling ‘em away.”
“No!” Zach gasps with the thought.
“There’s slugs and rolly-pollies and we don’t like bugs. You gotta get ‘em out and then don’t tell us where you put them.”
I cave. I’d really like to finish cutting the grass. Sure enough, underneath the Boys’ Club, on the ground below, there are two sun-crisp-dried-out slugs and maybe three little rolly-pollies. While I scoop them up with my gardening trowel and toss them into a nearby bush, I grumble to myself about having such brave boys who will protect ME from creepy-crawlies.
“There,” I say. “You’re good to go, but you know, I can’t guarantee there won’t EVER be bugs again in the Boys’ Club…since it IS outside ‘n all.”
They thank me and start to play. A little bit later I see Matthew moping around the yard.
“What’s wrong?” I ask. “Why aren’t you playing in the Boys’ Club?”
“I can’t stop thinking about those slugs.” Taking a deep melancholy breath, he announces, “The Boys’ Club is closed.” If he had said, “The Boys’ Club is condemned until future notice” it would have sounded no different.
Needless-to-say, I was a little worried how my insect-wussy boys would handle our first camping trip this summer. We went to Millersylvania State Park on Deep Lake (in Olympia-ish) with a few other families. I still feel that we’re major camping rookies, so it took us a week, to make lists of supplies, pull everything together for getting the car packed and all of us out the door.
It wasn’t until later Friday evening – after we’d been there for several hours and the air was starting to get a chill to it – that I realized the boys’ big duffle bag full of clothes never left their room. Looking at them in their already dirt-covered shorts and t-shirts, I felt like the Crappy-Mom-of-the-Year award winner and the Lamest-Rookie-Camper award recipient all in one. Thankfully, these are the stats of the other children present for the weekend, BOYS ages: 3, 3, 4, 5, 6, 6, 6 and one girl, Amanda (who can hold her one) age 5. I managed to get enough cellphone service to call one of the families (with two boys ages 3 & 6) who hadn’t left their house yet. They threw some extra clothes in a bag for us and for the weekend Matthew (who usually wears a size 8) squeezed into Andrew’s size 6 clothes and Zachary wore Adam’s 3T duds. It was pretty funny to see them emerge from the tent in pants that were more like Capri’s, but still! At least they were clothed.
The group campsite was awesome. It was huge – big enough for probably 10 good-size tents. We had our own covered kitchen-eating area and a restroom that was just down a short trail. While exploring, I had found a little kid-made pretend fire pit created out of rocks and sticks. I showed it to Zach who also found it pretty cool. Looking down the nearby trail, Zach, all of a sudden gasps.
He whispers, “Look! C’mere!” Crouching and creeping through the underbrush like two clandestine hunters stalking their prey, we inched forward.
He motions for me to stop and in awed, hushed tones, points again, “Look! See it?”
I peer through the dimmed light of dusk trying to see the small creature or woodsy delight that has my son entranced.
“See it?” he stage-whispers with excitement.
“Um, no,” I admit, “What is it? What are we looking at?”
“Right there!” He points down the path with growing impatience. “It’s…” he pauses for effect and drama, “It’s….a bathroom.” Zachary says this with the awe of one discovery the Lost Temple of Something Cool.
That’s when I realize he is, in fact, pointing at the building 20 yards away. “The bathroom?! I thought we were looking for an animal or something.”
Grinning mischievously he says, still in faux-awe-filled voice, “No, it’s a building!” Yep, these are my outdoorsy boys.
We did have SUCH A FUN weekend. The weather could not have been better. Deep Lake was comfortably warm for our Saturday afternoon beach trip. We ate and drank well. And all the kiddos: Tyler, Matthew, Andrew, Joshua, Amanda, Zachary, Noah and Adam had a BLAST all weekend. The trip could not have been more perfect (well, maybe if we’d remembered clothing for our children, but it all worked out in the end)!