Camping, Lite

We took Alex on his first camping adventure last night. We drove two hours east to a cute little state park, packing up almost our entire house in the car, for an approximately twenty-four hour trip.

We had a cabin. And power. Delicious food (and wine!) and a short drive to the beach for swimming. There was a large public restroom for the cabin goers, including very clean showers and flushing toilets.

The beach was adorable. A tiny little sandy part and a very shallow entry made it perfect for Alex to explore. He isn’t exactly the most adventurous child, so when he slipped and ended up getting his face in the water there was a bit of a panic attack. If we had been there longer, it’s possible he would have ventured into the water a little deeper, perhaps even over his knees.

If you ask Alex, his favorite part was “plopping the fish back in the water.” The fishing, apparently, was a big hit, even though he freaked out every time a bug came near him and when his toes touched the grass through his sandals it was worth near meltdown and an insistence on being carried.


Maybe it was a good thing it wasn’t too rugged of a camping adventure. Besides, without power we couldn’t have charged Alex’s little DVD player.


The Important Things

Late at night, Alex has very important stories to share. Facts that can’t wait until morning, tales of the day that must be told before he falls asleep, and little tidbits of learning that he wants me to know.

We have basically given up on getting him to sleep in his own bed, because the hours it takes for him to fall asleep there only to wake up two hours later? Not so worth it. The screaming and crying that could potentially lead to an asthma attack? Not so worth it. And just the general sobbing that makes me feel like I must be scarring him for life (I know I’m not)? Not so worth it.

So, if I work in the morning I just get right in bed with him. We brush our teeth, wash our faces and put on pajamas together. We get in bed, read a book or two and sing two songs. And then I turn out the light, give him a kiss and say “goodnight, Alex. I love you,” while pulling out my iPad for a little pre-bed reading of my own.

Within ten seconds, Alex opens his eyes and says, “Um, Mommy?” And a story will come out of those lips. “Today at school, I…” or “Did you know dat Eagles…?” or “Sometimes monsters and dragons…”

I’ll shush him, kiss him again, and tell him “no more talking until the morning.” And he’ll sigh and tell me he loves me and that he pwomises he won’t talk again.

Sure enough, five minutes later? “I think that a reawwy big cookie is the best thing ever. I never had a reawwy big cookie before, right Mommy?”

Another shush, a not as sweet “no more talking until the morning.”

Heavy breathing and no movement for ten, even twenty minutes, always convinces me he’s asleep.

But he’ll surprise me, and start talking about snakes or apples or sandboxes. He wanted to know recently if anyone lived in the lake house where we spent vacation last summer. He asked if the hospital (where I work) has big kids, too, or only babies. He told me that his most favorite person at school is a specific little girl, but now she has moved to Colorado.

It doesn’t matter that he hasn’t stopped talking since he woke up that morning, there is still more that has to be shared. There are stories that must be told. Even, at times, at 10pm.

He’s lucky he’s cute and oh-so-sweet.