Weekend Review, Camping Edition

Well, folks.  We did it.  We survived our first-ever Rust Family camping trip.   We hit the road Friday afternoon with our car fit to burst.   Despite some gnarly traffic in Everett that added an additional hour to our drive, we made it to Larabee State Park with relative ease.   Our walk-in campsite was perfect.  The sites on either side of us were empty, we were away from the cars and just a few steps away from our friends at the end of the path.  Excellent.  So far, so good.

We set up camp, explored the grounds a bit, and fed the boys dinner.   Things were going really well.  But then… then we put Isaiah to bed.  That wasn’t pleasant.  For anyone.   He screamed and screamed.  We soothed, sang, hugged and cuddled.  And tried again.  He screamed and screamed.  And round and round we went.   I decided to take refuge with Gryffin down at our friends’ campsite while Jason attempted for a third time to put Isaiah to bed.   I could hear the wailing all the way down the path but I was still optimistic.  Still certain that this was going to be the best weekend ever.

About an hour later, Isaiah was finally asleep and it was time for Gryffin’s turn.  We decided that I would take him in, put him in his sleeping bag and lay with him until he fell asleep.  At which point I would exit the tent and spend some time with the grown ups.  Wrong.  Kid did not go to sleep for, like, 3 hours.  Nice.  There I am, in my jeans, contacts still in, teeth not brushed, and hankering something serious after some s’mores.    After hours of Gryffin popping his head up like a whack-a-mole, chit chatting about this and that, I finally brought him into my sleeping bag and he went right to sleep.  Why didn’t I think of this sooner?   Ok, he’s asleep.  Don’t. move. a muscle.  But it was not to be.  Jason returned to our campground just 2 minutes later to go to bed himself and woke the G-man up.    Sigh.  We finally all fell asleep around midnight only to be woken up once an hour throughout the night by the loudest train I have ever heard.   It was a long night.

Up @ 6am.  Not too shabby.  Jason and some friends took off early for a 12 mile run, in preparation for their half marathon in a few weeks.  I made the boys oatmeal, feeling very much like a really cool-camper-I can roll with anything-check me out-I can handle this by myself kind of mom, and then we set off for an “adventure” as Gryffin likes to call it.  It was a great time.  We explored the camp ground, Gryffin on his balance bike and Isaiah in the backpack.

After a good long time, we returned to the campground feeling good. It had been a good morning. Then I casually glanced at my watch.   8:45am.  8:45!   What?!   W o w.  Ok.  Alright.  No problem.  We’re having fun.  We’re rolling with it.   Jason and the other runners returned and we headed over to the other campground for a second breakfast.    The rest of the morning was spent eating and hanging out with our friends.   We went down to the beach for frisbee throwing, rock skipping, and exploring.  Good times were had by all.

Nap time.  This did not go well.    Isaiah woke up screaming after about 35 minutes and would only sleep like this…

Awww, cute, though, right?  Jason was pretty beat after his run so this was a pretty good deal for him.

Gryffin, on the other hand, who normally sleeps about 1.5-2 hours every afternoon, slept for about 25 minutes.    This was not good.   I sat with him in the campground for about an hour, reading books, eating snacks, waiting for the other fellas to wake up so we could go join our friends down in the park.  Poor G-man was exhausted and at the end of his rope.  There were several tantrums, time outs and toddler angst on his part.  For my part, also severely lacking in sleep or any down time by this point, I was also near the end of my rope.  And watching all of our friends walk by, heading off for some afternoon fun in the sun made me feel even worse.  They were all completely friendly, totally sympathetic and kind, of course, but I couldn’t help feeling kind of alone as I hung behind yet again.   I often feel this way, like Miranda in that scene in Sex & the City, right after she has Brady.  All her friends are heading off to go shopping and after hustling her into a cab with her newborn, the shot pans out, showing her watching from the cab’s back window, getting smaller and smaller as she moves further and further away from her friends.     Some people might interpret my feeling (or the scene with Miranda) as a wish to be free, to not have kids that tether us.  But that’s not it at all.   I wouldn’t change it for the world.  It’s just lonely sometimes, being the only ones with kids on a trip like this.

J and Z finally woke up.  We went to the park, just in time for everyone to leave to go get happy hour oysters down the street.  I stayed back with the boys so they could hit the playground and Michelle hung out with me (bless her soul!).    We had an incredible dinner later in the evening made by Jack & LaVerne and Brian & Nicole.   The boys both crashed hard, falling asleep within minutes so Jason and I BOTH got to enjoy s’mores (peanut butter s’mores, no less) and much laughter with our friends around the campfire.  A great way to finish the weekend.

We left after breakfast the next morning and had an uneventful ride home.

Despite all the tantrums, sleep disturbances, soaking clothes, trains running all the live long night, we had a wonderful time with our friends.  And you know, slipping noiselessly into the sleeping bag next to Gryffin the second night, listening to Isaiah’s sweet sighs and wiffly snore, gazing at Gryffin’s little face in the dark as I drifted off, feeling Jason settling in on the other side of him, I thought it really doesn’t get any better than this.