We're on the dirt path making our way back to the campsite. The air is shrill with a thousand frogs. We pause and stare up - no moon for the trees - stars wink to amphibian song. "The frogs are singing," I tell him.
"How do tadpoles even make fwogs anyways?" He's holding my hand and half resting his head against my side. Because he's tired. Because it's so dark no one will see him needing me.
"That's how they start out. As tadpoles. Then one day - POP! - their legs come out and their tails are gone and they're frogs."
"Oh." He kicks a stone. "Dat's weird."
Morning comes and neighbours make our mouths water with the coiling scent of bacon and the hiss of pancake batter rising from their coleman stove while we lift a french fry from the Happy Meal box and salute nature. We're hardly campers. Not even a lantern to play a proper game of Yahtzee in the shadow of the campfire. No firewood so we're forced to pay $25 at the front gate rip-off store. No ice so the watermelon ferments. No tarp. No clothesline. But we have a jackknife. And eight children. Welcome to our paradise.
We have counted down to this since the beginning of summer. Now, as fire begins to burn the edge of the maple, as thoughts of school darken days early, as nights become cool, we step upon this Niagara soil - this Big Love blending of best friends and night time giggle fits - for one last burst of summertime family fun.
And it is. Fun. Late nights and early mornings and polygamist hair and burned marshmallows and campfire stories and rememberings and the 'I would catch a grenade for you' argument for the seventeenth time and showers that slam you into the wall and Columian ex-drug runners and laughing until we grow a new wrinkle and "would somebody please, please, please make a Tim Horton's run" and family and love and nature and peace and the crackling of fire and the snoring of Jeff and nature peeing and the stars - all one hundred million billion of them.
We may not be campers but we camped the snot out of this weekend!
|brunch at a diner - our idea of camp food!|