We are home, showered, warm, rested. 3 days in the woods at our annual Mom and Me Camp. This year it was 10 mothers and 42 children, (down from 52 children last year - the teens 14 years and up were at a province-wide youth conference which coincided with the dates of our camp. They were sorely missed by all!)
I will post details a little later, once my friend and photographer posts the pictures she took. (I felt I would be too busy with my young brood to take my camera. I was right.)
Although it was freezing at night and chilly during the days, the children were all right at home romping freely around the campground. The grounds are private, and we were the only ones there for most of the time, so we didn't have to worry much. Benjamin was in his element. Every hour or so I would wander around calling "has anyone seen Ben?" and just when I might start to wonder I'd catch a flash of his red hair somewhere in the distance.
There was swimming and hole digging and frog catching and a zip line and water balloons, but mostly the kids just wandered in their own magical world of childhood. I often felt like I was just on the outside of it all, as though we mothers were inhabiting the same space but were somehow in a different dimension, the years that have passed since our own childhood separating us from their world. I couldn't describe exactly how they passed their time, or what whisperings were shared, or what games were imagined, or what serious conversations were held, but I know they were of the important stuff of childhood.
Most notably, there was no fighting or crying or whining. Somehow the minute we walked in the door it all started again. Maybe this is the one big drawback of a small house and property. Outdoor time will now be strictly observed every afternoon, however, in hopes that the fresh air and being outdoors might ease the bickering.
Now we are home. We have two weeks until school starts again. I am planning two things:
1) to fill these days with friends. The boys have seen little of their friends this summer, due to conflicting travel and vacation schedules. If I could, I would have friends over every morning for them.
2) To train up the boys in some new habits that need to start. We have been having some real trouble in the listening and obedience areas. There has been some lip that needs curbing. And I'm finally passing complete care of the toy room and their bedroom onto the boys. I know that's something I should have trained them in long ago, but better late than never.