We went camping on Tuesday at a campground a little west of here, in the mountains. It started out typically: "I don't want to camp!" shouted Si, groaning and falling on the floor. Meanwhile, Helen piled half her room on the "to pack" pile. Two hours later, as we pulled out of town, Si was chattering joyfully and Helen was asking nervously about rain and clouds and lightning and tornadoes.
It did rain, a little, but not much, and there was no lightning (which I was thankful for, too--I'm not one of those who appreciates the spirituality of storms, esp. when in them). We found a campground that was completely empty (SCORE) and way far away from the road (double score). We set up the tents (my folks were with us, too), made dinner, built a fire, had a brief moment of character-building ennui (Si: "I don't have Space Invaders OR Leapster! What is there to do? It's boring!"), and then ate the fish Mike brought home for dinner.
Si also got to sharpen sticks for roasting hot dogs and marshmallows. He used a knife for this. Between the knife and the fire I got a chance to showcase my split parenting personality. In one ear I have the boyscout coach: knives and fires are good for kids! Teaches them responsibility and self-sufficiency! Don't hover! In the other ear comes the helicopter parent: OMG he's going to set the entire FOREST on fire! ("Put that blazing stick BACK in the fire!") Yikes--what if he stabs out his eye with the knife? If he does, would it be better to drive out to a hospital or try to call Flight for Life direct? ("Be CAREFUL, sweetheart!")
I get really irritated with myself when I do this--just sick to death of how my voice is constantly narrating the negative. While the voice is not exactly not mine, it doesn't really feel like me, this voice--the me I know is easy-going and relaxed. I guess the obvious remedy would be to try to just be QUIET for, say, a week. Stop trying to constantly organize the world with my vocal cords. Just let it be, you know?
I'll let you know how it goes.
In the meantime, photos:
After breakfast, we had some visitors. (Moose! Not a cow and a calf, as you might expect, but a young bull and a calf.)
Helen was a little dubious about the moose.
Silas, meanwhile, got busy figuring things out. One of the things he learned was how to shoot good close-up photos of plants. Not bad, eh?