Saturday, May 24, 2014

Summer Adventure #1

Summer Adventure #1 was David's idea.  His ideas are usually super cool. Just another reason he's classified as the fun parent.

Thursday was the last day of school, so he planned a campout in the backyard on the trampoline that night and took yesterday off.  We're talking fire pit, s'mores using marshmallows as big as my fist, and a white sheet rigged up between two trees so we could watch a movie.

When David first proposed the idea to me I said, "That sounds like a great activity for you and the kids." To which he replied, "Oh no, you're gonna be out there with us."


The last time I camped out in the backyard I was sore for the next month, or three.  I can throw my neck and shoulder out of whack just turning around to grab something behind me.  It's kind of ridiculous.  At least that sweet husband of mine is always supportive and sympathetic when it happens.

Oh wait, no he isn't.  The perfect husband in my mind is like that.  Mine likes to mock me and pretend to throw his neck out by picking up a paper towel.

Even though I knew my neck would pay for it, there was no way I was actually going to miss out. Part of me was afraid, 20 years down the road, this would become one of their favorite childhood memories and, if I opted to stay inside, I wouldn't be a part of it. 

The weather was perfect. The girls and I cozied up in sweatshirts, Tate scrambled out of the house in footie pajamas, and we settled in. Getting our crew to agree on a movie can be painful.  And there are only so many times I can watch that little clownfish dad search for his son.  We ended up watching Star Wars. Whew.

Next up...figuring out who was sleeping where on the trampoline.  Reese decided the safest arrangement was to have David and I on the outside with the kids nestled safely in between.  And she asked more than once, "What if someone tries to take us?".  I tried to reassure her I doubted someone was lurking around our neighborhood peering into people's backyards, on the off chance they would find an unsuspecting family sleeping on a trampoline.  "Mom, people do strange things these days," she countered.  She got me there.

I thought it would be neat to keep the dogs outside with us.  George loves being outside, so I figured this would be his dream ~ to actually spend the whole night out with his family enjoying the cool breeze.  Wrong.  He took advantage of the cover of darkness to stalk innocent bunnies and squirrels, so I finally had to put him in the house.

We all got situated. 

Then my phone died.  

So I crawled off and ran it into the house to charge.

I got re-situated. 

Then Tate needed to go to the bathroom and was scared to walk the 15 feet to the house.  

So I accompanied him.  

Upon our return I thought, Why didn't I go to the bathroom while we were in there?! 

Back I went.  Almost made it back to the trampoline when David said, "You left the light on upstairs."  

ARE you kidding?

Another trip into the house.  Mind you, each time I entered the house, I was greeted by the dogs who desperately wanted back out for another chance.  No way.  So I had to try and squeeze back out the door without them following me. 


Honestly. I've never worried so much about random things happening as when I became a Mother.  Just a few of the thoughts that ran through my head last night:

What is the weight limit on this trampoline? 

What if a spring breaks and we all plunge to the ground below? -  Ok, I voiced this one out loud.  Because Reese followed up with, "I'm right above a large tree branch on the ground."

What if, when we all plunge to the ground, Reese gets impaled by that tree branch?

What if we're attacked by a family of rabid squirrels?

What if we all roll to the middle and suffocate poor Tate in the night?

What if a spark from the dying fire ignites the grass and we have to leap to safety?

I looked over at David and tried to gauge by his expression if he was having any of these same fears.  Nope.  He was peacefully watching the movie, probably just thinking, "Light sabers are awesome."

At some point, as we snuggled under the 12 blankets, Tate pulled off his footie pajamas.  "," I said.  "No sir. Jammies go back on."

"But I'm hot," he protested.  And he was.  I felt his sweaty little back.  "Ok, you can keep them off for now.  But before we go to sleep you need to put them back on."


"Because the temperature drops in the night and I don't want you to catch hypothermia."

"What's that?"

"It's this sickness you catch when it gets too cold and you're not prepared for it.  When the temp drops, we'll all be sound asleep, and it just sneaks up on you."

He couldn't get back into his jammies fast enough.

Around 10:30 pm we were nowhere near the final Star Wars battle scene, so we decided to stop the movie and drift off to dreamland.  

The kids must have been exhausted, because there were minimal squabbles such as "She's on my pillow," or "He's taking up too much blanket."

After some time passed, the trampoline became as still as could be. I had just closed my eyes when I detected what I thought to be a flash. My eyes flew open and I waited. 7...8...9...seconds went by and then the faintest hint of a rumble. 


I looked at my sleeping family. Then I waited a few minutes to see if it was about to downpour. Nothing. Whatever was brewing was at least 10 miles away. The same thing happened again. Small flash, many seconds went by, and slight rumble.

I knew what had to be done. We had to wake our little sleeping beauties and drag them inside. 

But people camp out in storms all the time.

Then I remembered we were atop a trampoline with metal poles. Probably not the best combination.

In addition to worrying about justifiable scenarios {i.e. aforementioned rabid squirrel attack}, I also tend to worry about really dumb things.

What if we stay out here and do get struck by lightning and all of us perish--my house is a mess! How embarrassing for our relatives who come to settle our estate to find it like that. What would they think? 

So I crawled over to sleeping David, who was unaware of our impending electrocution because he hadn't heard the thunder. It must have a decibel level similar to a baby's cry. Because he certainly never heard those. 

After a few more lightning/thunder combos he agreed we should move this sleepover inside. He started gathering up the movie equipment and blankets while I tried to rouse the wee ones. Reese popped right awake. The other two weren't budging. "Wow," she said. "Tate would not be good in an emergency. He doesn't wake up good."

He finally lifted his sleepy little head and I calmly explained the situation. He gathered his blankets and starting scooting to the edge of the trampoline. Where he promptly curled back up again and returned to his slumber. 

About that time, David returned for more blankets and lightning lit up the sky followed by a loud boom. Tate leaped from his spot, and thank goodness David was there to catch him, because I'm fairly certain Tate forgot he was on top of the trampoline. 

The girls ended up in my bed and the boys got the basement. And I was able to turn my neck easily while changing lanes today. A win-win. 

Hopefully we'll try it again before it's 112 degrees and we have to wrap ourselves in Mosquito netting. But I won't say when exactly our next campout will be occurring...for Reese's peace of mind. Lest you decide to go trampoline stalking that night. 

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