As Elena grows, we have fewer ‘firsts,’ but they become more substantial. This weekend we went on our first camping trip, with a group of people from church. Jenny might have hoped that one of us wouldn’t have a great time, so that we would be less likely to go again. But Elena slept a good amount, which meant that I had a good time. Gran Ann came to visit in the evening and morning so I had time to set up and tear down camp without having to worry about Elena, which made things easier.
Elena had a good time for any number of reasons. We ate hot dogs and marshmallows, and drank juice. We were close enough to the swing set that we could go after dinner and before breakfast. We chased fireflies with all the other kids when it started to get dark. Perhaps most importantly, she got to throw rocks, sticks, and sand into the water for as long as she wanted.
On our morning hike down to the water, we were at the front of the group. I saw a deer ahead of us and pointed it out to Elena. It was startled by our noise and went bounding off through the forest. I told Elena “we scared the deer, so it ran away.” She responded with “the deer wasn’t scared, it was happy–it was jumping!”
Happy father’s day to all! Here’s hoping that you have many happy family camp outs.