Another weekend, another camping trip. This one had its highs and lows, for sure, but in the end it was a beautiful respite from the everyday tasks of being home. No kitchen to clean, no photos to process, no toy explosions, no tv, no mouse traps. Instead: fields, flowers, fishing, fires, (seeing how long I can go with the f sounds), friends, farms, food, (so many good f things in life!), fireworks, firearms, ok I'll stop. There was lots of great non-f stuff too.
I only need one toy: my camera. I always bring a journal but rarely have the chance to write. Photography is a little easier I suppose because it consists of moments and that's all I usually have; it's hard to complete a thought in my journal before an interruption arises: Is this a poison berry? I smell poop on Owen! Is she hungry? I need something to EAT. Will you go fishing with me? Look at this spider web! I want to be with MOM. And it's all good; I'm not complaining; being needed by my tiny kiddos is my favorite. It just means that my life now is more conducive to snapping observations into photos than unraveling thoughts into words.
Maisy had some trouble settling in on Friday night. She's at this wonderful age of four and a half months where she's just taking it all in, all the time. New places can be vastly entertaining; she'll lay and look around and talk about what she's seeing for a long time. But at night new places can be a little challenging because babies certainly crave what they know for sleep. Thus, what excites curiosity in the day causes anxiety in the dark. And so Maisy was up part of the night screaming -- absolutely screaming like she never has in her life -- mad and completely unwilling to settle down in the tent. And so I was up at some crazy middle of the night hour, and luckily the guys were still around the fire, because I sure needed the moral support and the warmth. Eventually we did get some rest, but morning came all too soon and there was some general grumpiness in the camp and a moment of, "I should have stayed home!" No worries, though: we regrouped and I got some coffee in me and we proceeded to enjoy the rest of the weekend. Maisy did much better the second night, after having had a full day to settle into our temporary abode.
That being the low, the high for me was found in some slow simple moments which made -- which always make -- the trip worthwhile. Lying in the grass in the woods with my littles, looking up at the trees and telling each other what we notice. Me: "I notice the sound that the leaves make when the wind blows." Bob: "I notice how they're moving." Owen: "I notice that I love trail mix and m&mies!" And then our quiet time together turns altogether silly with lots of kisses and hug tackles. Later on after a day of clouds the sun finally came out just as it was about to set and we got to catch a little golden light. I watched Bob fish for a while... He's really good at casting now and uses the bait he likes -- huge rubber worms -- and doesn't care that it's the wrong kind; "I just like flinging it out and reeling it in; I don't mind if I don't catch anything." Then I took a little walk with Owen and watched him run and pick flowers in the pretty light, and I even set up one self-timer portrait, which turned out lovely. (Owen loves to kiss.) Everything was peaceful and beautiful and my soul was so very happy to be living that little snippet of life. Later still, after snuggling the boys and watching them drift off to sleep in their tent beds, I sat by the fire with Maisy on my lap snuggled in a blanket and sucking her thumb and I watched as her gaze shifted from the dancing flames to my face and back, again and again, newly enthralled -- both of us -- by how awesome it all was.
Also awesome and included in the photos: a sunset drive through New York farmland, tent sleepers and morning snuggles, blueberry walnut chocolate chip zucchini muffins, some cute little fairy/caterpillar houses we built, the red swing, a new vine swing, many little pretty things picked and unpicked, Owen warming his belly by the fire, walkie talkies, the view!, boys asleep on the drive home.