Monday, July 29, 2013

Day One [A Feat of Feet]

"This is all going?" he asks.

"All of it!"

"Well, there's no way it's going to fit."

"It has to.  We need it!  We need everything!"

He sighs (huffs) and pulls something out to try and make a better fit.  "A puzzle," he mumbles.

There is a reason someone once said, 'Where there's a will, there's a way.'

And we crammed like sardines and Noa had to criss-cross-apple-sauce in her booster chair and Liam roared over the bedding that was stuffed down where his crock-clad feet should have gone and Zander held the cutlery bucket precariously balanced on a lap more determined to make space for important DS playing than helping a mother out.

Sigh.

Who's idea was this?

They've been excited.  Counting sleeps.  I've been exhausted and over-burdened and unsteady/unsure/a teensy bit terrified.  Because it's no small feat to take three children camping without the help of another grown up.  No.  Small.  Feat.  (No small feet either - shoes take up valuable space!)

[This is worth it.  This is worth it.  This is worth it.]

[I am a strong, confident, brave woman and I'm going to own this feat while standing on my own two feet clad in nothing but Dollar Store flip-flops because it was certain I would forget something and only fitting that it be my own foot protection in the eye of this feat-storm! In fact, I'm gonna knock this nay-saying self-deprecating she-devil inner voice straight back to hell - which would be the stinky shelves of a roller rink lined with a thousand pairs of skates worn by a thousand different feet all suffering from the same 'odor issue' as my dear husband who is not coming with us because he has to take his feet to work - stink and all.]

[This is worth it.  This is worth it.  This is worth it.]

"How much longer?" they ask from their unfair quarters.

"My butt's asleep." "My leg's asleep."  "My foot's asleep."  "My finger's asleep." 

"Hey!  I just farted and it woke my butt up!"  "Bahahahahaha...[snort!]"

When we finally turned in that dusty driveway they poured out of the car like half-drunk clowns fumbling for a punchline.  "Finally!  We're here!  That totally took, like, FOREEEEEVER!!!"

It smells like earth here.  Like childhood.  Like Christmas and dirt.  Pine needles nestle themselves between my toes and they are welcome friends - these tree memories - and how we used to brush them back to make smooth paths to our cabin doors a hundred years ago.

Settling in feels good.  I am organized to the point of insanity and I like it just fine.  The kids run.  They play.  They laugh.  They balance along the old railroad track.  They turn their hands black in soil that reeks of rain and sun and worms.  I sweep.  I sort.  I lay out.  I tuck.  I look at my creation and I whisper to the trees, "It is good!"  This little home away from home - this cabin in the woods stands scarred and perfect for this brood.  And it smells like rain and sun and worms.

I cook without a kitchen and we eat without a roof.  And it is good.

And there it is.  Right there.  There in the dirty faces they were too tired to wash.  There in the stillness in which they lay, tucked neat in their sleeping bags, trying to keep their eyes open through Chapter One of Percy Jackson.  There in the silence that falls - nothing but the pine needles falling to their bed, rusty strokes of God's creation, beautiful somehow even in their death.  There it is.  I don't know why I thought I wouldn't find it...

[This is worth it.  This is worth it.  This is worth it.] 

{click here to read more about our camping experience}

 

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