Homeschool Campout--Spring 2014
I had to take the kids alone to the camp out. Our daddy had to work. We didn't stay overnight, because I cannot even imagine how to accomplish what it takes to go camping with 7 children and only 1 adult. But rather than miss out on all the fun we were day campers. We packed up our swimsuits and bug repellant, filled the cooler with veggies and sandwich fixings and took off.
Because there was only one of me, I had to say no to some activities. Kayaking was one of them. Usually the rules of the families that own the kayaks are: 1. Wear a life jacket. 2. Your parent has to watch you. We absolutely respect those rules. I told my big kids that I couldn't be in two places at once, so they couldn't kayak because I had to be where the little kids were.
When the kayak owners found out the situation, they volunteered to be the parents on duty in my place. Other mothers, other fathers gave their time so my kids could go out on the water.
I am so thankful.
My kids LOVE to go out in the kayaks.
I spent several hours at the swimming beach with my little guys (too long it turns out--in spite of faithfully using our favorite sunscreen ever, we got burned!). We had snacks. We played in the trees. We hid under the shelter when a passing raincloud opened itself over us. We visited. Every so often I'd see one of my big kids pass by, happily enclosed in a posse of friends.
Then a family of friends to my little guys went down to the kayaks. My littles wanted to follow. I took them down with strict instructions that we could not kayak because I could not take one of them out on the water and be on the shore to watch the other two. I promised we would kayak at the fall camp out when Daddy could come with us.
But my little guys saw their friends and they were tired after so many hours on the beach and in the sun, and their coping skills were almost gone, and they wanted so much to go out on the water. They did not throw tantrums. They just pleaded with their tired eyes and their tired voices.
And some moms and dads standing near by said, "We can give them turns when our kids are done."
Again, other mothers, other fathers gave their time so my kids could go out on the water.
H4 went out with a mother-friend of our family.
A7 actually went out with J10, who showed up and said, "Sure I can take her out."
But the moment to remember forever was when a daddy-friend leaned down to I2 and asked, "Do you want to come with me?" I2 leaned into me and looked uncertain. I asked, "Do you want to go with (J7's) daddy? He will take you in the boat if you want to."
I2 nodded his head.
I pulled off his shoes and socks while our friend found a suitable life jacket for I2. We got properly assembled, and I2 walked happily and squelchily through the mud along the shore to the kayak. Our daddy-friend lifted him in and settled him, and that's when we all saw I2's face.
He was smiling so hugely that we thought his face would crack in half. Groans of delight echoed along the shore from all of the parents standing nearby. And I nearly melted right into the sand.
That was one happy little boy.
I am one happy, grateful mom.
These friends of ours . . . they make our world so very bright.