Better And Better

Nothing says wilderness like suit socks with flip flops.Have I mentioned camping before?

What?! I have?!
Oh. You mean here? And here?  And here. And then here. And here. And here. Also here. Oh, and my favorite: here. And another one here. 
It might not be funny, but Michael pretending to kill us with a sledgehammer is kind of a hilarity-ensued staple around here.Anyhoo. I have two new favorite things to do camping. 1) Admire other people's toddlers and babies as they scuttle past on the road, but from the campfire, where I am sitting with a beer in my hand and a pile of chips in my lap, because I never need to stand up ever again because the big children can build the fire and rig the tarp and start dinner and put on their own sunscreen and go to the bathroom by themselves and set up Chinese Checkers. Meanwhile I watch a pair of preschoolers argue about a package of Goldfish crackers and run into the road and soak themselves in the faucet and lie down in the muddy pine needles to cry about how wet they got in the faucet where they were soaking each other. "Keep at it!" I offer, unbidden, to harried parents around our loop. "It gets even better than this!"
It's not that I don't still worry about them drowning. But it does feel a little less imminent these days. Knock wood. Shit.

2) Reminisce with the children themselves. I have always been a profligate nostalgia-oozer, but now the kids have gotten roped into my woozy, sentimental shenanigans. Walking up to the bathroom with me (because I have to go! not because she needs me!), Birdy sighs happily and says, "How many times do you think we've done this walk together, Mama?" And I would answer "A million?" if my throat would open up for a second. Her hand in mine is firm and cool, her eyes steady and sparkling on my face, the whispery, fragrant pines and washed air blowing away all traces of whatever gunk can fog up the space between us. If I've ever been happier, and I don't say this lightly, I can't think when.
I hope you're enjoying the last gasp of summer. And if you've already breathed your last, and your kids are back at school, I hope you're enjoying that too.