We are back from our mini vacation. Our annual "farewell to summer" camping trip at our favorite campground near the ocean in Maine. We came back a day early due to uncooperative weather but still had a blast. We got there early Thursday afternoon and set up our camp in jig time. Visited the playground, swam at the pool, went out for our pizza supper at our favorite pizza joint. (a chain that does not exist in our state). Then we walked down to the ocean to watch the moon rise. It was nearly full and gloriously beautiful over the low tide. The kids romped on the wet sand and danced for the moon. As darkness deepened, I piled the littles into the wagon we had brought with us and hauled them back to camp. 1/2 mile is nothing to them when they are still fueled by the adrenaline surge of anticipation. When we are all ready past bedtime, it is as far away as China. LOL Back at the campsite we opted to not have a camp fire and instead to play with glowsticks. Because we were up a day before the official launch of the holiday weekend there were still lots of open sites around us. That made it perfect for glowstick ring toss and other crazy camp games we adore.
The next day we spent a huge chunk of it playing at the ocean. KC took most of his spending money and bought himself a skim board. To the uninitiated these are thin wood boards that you slide across the wet sand and literally skim surf. It is very cool. However it is also not an easy skill to learn and KC found it quite hard to master. None of us know how to do it, but one of the great things about my Chet is that he has no qualms about finding help when he deems it necessary. Sure enough he found a kid using a board and got him to agree to show KC.
KC was at first mortified--he is one who does not like to do something imperfectly in front of others. But thankfully Chet had found by the luck of the draw, a really nice, patient kid. KC warmed up quickly, the lesson turned into several hours of the 2 boys working on the skill together. KC learned more than skim boarding as it was also a time to see that you don't need to be perfect and that reaching out for help is in itself an important skill. We had time for pickup basketball games at the park. I loved watching how Rob was careful to incorporate KC into the game of mostly older boys. KC was sort of subltely stationed in a specific spot and Rob would periodically feed him the ball for a basket attempt. It was sweet and I love seeing the bond that is between them. Later as darkness settled,we made a campfire and toasted marshmallows and made s'mores. That night was a huge thunderstorm which drenched our campsite but the kids slept through it, exhausted from the day of fun.
Saturday we went to Portland Head Light and spent the day with my mom. She is facing surgery for a blocked artery in the next few days and it was important to all of us to have time together. Our visit to the Head Light is another annual event. One that we sometimes think the kids will get tired of but they don't seem to. And in some ways I understand. The vista of the changing sea the variety of sea craft that passes, even the color of the ocean, it is different every time. Even our dog loves it there!
Lissa spent the lions share of her camping funds there buying herself a small kite. She and KC spent a long time running on the high grassy field getting it airborne. Lissa has an innate knack for keeping the kite aloft--KC is more likely to crash it as he tends to run in ever tighter circles and it seems to lose its loft quickly. Rob, the master of cool, can fly a kite barely moving and definately not breaking a sweat! The sun was warm and my wife got a sunburn, but the cool breeze had me keeping my sweatshirt on.
The littles also loved riding their scooters through the campsite and with the 5 MPH speed limit I was comfortable with more freedom than they ever get in our busy city. They felt so grown up, scootering around the campsite. It was sweet to watch, and somewhat amazing to me as well. My first pictures of Lissa camping are at the same campground in a pack and play. Now she is an independent wee miss able to do so much for herself! I love the transient friendships that kids develop at this campground. There was always someone to shoot hoops with. Someone to scooter with. Someone to play on the climbing apparatus with. Many of the kids come from Canada and don't speak English but fun and play is a language that is universal.
That night we had another campfire and the littles got to pop corn over the campfire. It was hugely thrilling to them as I am someone who is really a fire safety nut. You have to seriously earn the privilege to being close to the fire with me. Lissa has finally been able to do that this year, showing an impressive improvement in her ability to follow directions and stay safe. I am glad we did that campfire too as over night, the weather turned. Our forecast had been for good weather straight through Monday but the goddess changed her mind. As we slept, thick clouds came in and rain followed quickly. Rain that meant to stay and suddenly my weatherbug on my phone was showing only raindrops where the day before had been a forecast full of sun!
Tomorrow I'll try to write about celebrating Chet's birthday, which happened this weekend also, but for now I'll leave you with this very cool picture of Rob and our dog Blake!