We went camping this weekend. And I was being a brat about it, I didn't want to go, I didn't want to do all the work that leads up to it, that makes camping (especially with toddlers) so hard. The shopping, the planning, the packing, the prep work, if you've been you catch my drift, you spend the week before a camping trip in a constant state of "preparing." Constantly asking yourself, what items do I use in my day, what cooking utensils are necessary to prepare these meals, what can I bring for Jack to eat since he's so picky, what if this happens, what if that happens?
So Kyle got sick of listening to me complain (who hasn't) and said that this trip he was going to take over all above stated planning. And he did, he planned the meals, shopped for them, prepped the food, and did all of the packing besides clothes and some odds and ends.
So off we went on Friday afternoon, with me convinced that for the first time ever we didn't forget anything. I was still dreading the long nights with the kids in that tent, but I was unwinding and starting to enjoy that feeling of realizing I get to spend a whole weekend alone in a quiet place with nobody but my three favorite people.
Then we arrived and well, the thing is, we really did pack the best we ever had. Into our various totes we had everything we needed, the only problem was one of the totes was two hours away in our kitchen, instead of in the bed of our truck. I waited for Kyle to freak and remained calm, I've learned over the years that you have to take turns having break downs and I figured it was his turn.
Then the most amazing thing happened, he stayed calm and said, ok kids we'll go down to the creek to go swimming, Mommy will run to HEB and get the food and sunscreen we left behind and everything will be okay. That's when I decided that if he was going to be calm, then I was going to take my turn at freaking, I cried a little bit, but soon was back from HEB with all we needed for the weekend in time to cook dinner and enjoy our weekend.
From then out it was a perfectly lovely, relaxing weekend and trust me no one is more surprised by that then me. There was the whole snafu with an animal running away with my bra Friday night, but he returned it by Saturday afternoon (ok, fine actually it was in the tote the whole time, but when neither of us could find it, that was what we thought had happend). We ate good, we rested, we hiked, we swam in the creek, we saw beautiful waterfalls and Kylynn went through a free program to learn to fish and caught her first fish, we had a blast and really loved McKinney Falls.
Of course I can say all of this because the weekend had the theme of Kyle doing absolutely everything, while I read a book, I didn't cook a single thing or touch a dirty dish, it really was what I've always dreamed of for mother's day.
Sunday we got up and went on one last hike and Kyle gave me my mother's day gift and then told us we were going out to eat to Macaroni Grill on our way home. Well I love Macaroni Grill and it sounded just lovely, the only problem was we looked like hillbillies who had come to town to eat at a restaurant for the first time...jeans, t-shirts, dirty from living outside with no baths for three days, I'm sure we smelled. But they let us in, I got over my embarrassment and it was a lot of fun.
Driving home I couldn't believe that I had ever dreaded the weekend, that I would waste my time complaining about the gift of time with my family. In the end I learned the lesson that God was gently telling me all weekend, that nothing else matters, not a tote of food, not a missing bra, not loss of sleep, just my family. That each moment I have with them is a gift, that a weekend filled with those moments of mommy watch this, and mommy can I hold your hand, and mommy look what I found for you, are the moments that make life worth living.
There will be no more complaining about our camping trips from me (honey, you may want to print this out and silently hand it to me next fall). I'm all about a weekend of uninterupted time with these people that make my heart ache because I love them too much.