Sunday, January 3, 2010
Boy oh Boy
Yes, I should totally be writing about my wonderful Christmas with my wonderful family who were all back in my crowded, toy-strewn nest for five wonderful days.
I should be bragging ad nauseum about the rare leisurely hours spent lollygagging with my amazing Grandchildren. Oh, and I would be completely justified in using this space to give myself a big bloggy pat on the back for the way our family kept this Christmas simple and under budget. I surprised even myself :) We stuck to our one-present, $25 limit rule - and nary a complaint was heard (although the White Elephant exchange brought out the dark sides of a few plastic plate recipients.)
No, today my holiday thoughts are being crowded out, or rather....smoked out, by my boys return from their four-day New Year's Boy Scout campout. These excursions are always bittersweet for me. Kind of like a bittersweet sandwich, if you will. The "filling" is enjoyable as the girls and I have a quiet house for a few days, but on the top of that scrumptious filling is a stale and moldy slice of Packing (preceded by trying to locate the list items) and the bottom slice is the UnPacking (which is quicker, but involves much holding of the nose and a few mumbled OMG's.) And then stuffed in their somewhere is the lettuce and pickle of missing my boys and wondering if they're OK - and if they've changed underwear, or noticed that I packed their toothbrushes for a reason.
I normally don't worry about my boys when they're participating in a Scout function. Perhaps in my rookie Scout Mama days I had the occasional panic attack at the thought of my 'babies' in tandem with knives, fires, and foot blisters. But I'm over those minor concerns. This time I mostly worried about hypothermia.
(Yes, we still live in Florida, but the highs were only in the 50's the entire time they were gone!...and then there's the whole wind chill thing. And one night it got down to 30! And their sleeping bags were purchased in a Florida Wal-Mart, where gloves are sold to keep your hands clean while you weed.)
For the most part (and as usual) my concerns were all unjustified. The metal-working and the knot-tying, the capture the flag games and the unending packets of hot chocolate kept anyone from losing any digits in the frigid weather- but my sweet Daniel (being the youngest of 11 and occasionally accused of being a Mama's Boy) told me that last night his next-bag neighbor was complaining that he could not sleep because he was too cold. Daniel decided to tell him a "Ma and Pa and Billy" story (based on his Dad's childhood) to distract him. Daniel said, "By the time I got through with the story, Mark was snoring."
I've struggled to stay awake during some of Daniel's stories so I have no trouble believing this.
Daniel's compassion and concern for his fellow Scout just warms my heart! .... But apparently the act of benevolence did not do anything to heat Daniel up. He still couldn't sleep because his toes were freezing. So he told me he took off his fleece jacket and wrapped them around his feet and "thought happy thoughts" until he fell asleep.
I know these things are necessary for "men-in-training". And it sure was nice not having to wipe up any misplaced pee for a few days. But it feels good to have them all safe and sound in their blanketed beds right now. Even if their stinky laundry will keep me hopping for longer than they were gone.
Happy New Year! (Is anybody still out there?)