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?)


brite said...

I think we still have a real zero-degree sleeping bag if you want me to send it to you.

busymomof10 said...

Hi Debbie!

Enjoyed your post, as always, and was so glad to see you out of bloggy hibernation! :)

Of course, I could relate to so much of what you said, which is one reason I love your blog so much! The second reason is because you make me laugh at stuff that would normally make me cry -- like piles of dirty, smelly laundry, and misplaced pee.

Glad your boys survived their campout! May the Lord help you conquer the smelly remains! Try Daniel's trick -- wrap a fleece blanket around your nose and think happy thoughts! :)


Anonymous said...

Hi! Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog.
I found your blog link on another blog I follow and I love your sense of humor, plus I'm interested in connecting with other Moms who are still actively parenting in their 40s/50s since my husband & I have 2 daughters who are 23 & 21 and a son who is 3.
To answer your questions on dyslexia books- here are some that have helped us. (One of my daughters is also dyslexic.) It's been a long time since reading them so I hope I get the titles correct: Coming Out of the Fog, You Mean I'm Not Crazy, Lazy or Stupid? and The Gift of Dyslexia.
Feel free to email me with any other questions. I'll help in any way I can! ~Dea

jax said...

I like the part about Daniel's stories. And I'm a little surprised that stories about my son + nephews + niece were replaced by a post about laundry...but I understand. Priorities.

mamajil said...

Loved your post!!! and brrrr! ITs too cold to camp for me!Glad the boys had fun!

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Davene said...

"...where gloves are sold to keep your hands clean while you weed." How funny! I have a brother who lives in Florida, so I'm allowed to laugh at Floridians a little bit. :)

It's so nice to read a post from you again. Didn't you make some kind of New Years resolution to blog more often? :)

Cheaper by the Baker's Dozen said...

Of course you can relate. I bet you could practically smell the laundry as you read the words, it's so familiar to you :)
And as far as laughing vs. crying.....It's just a survival technique.

Cheaper by the Baker's Dozen said...

Anonymous (....and you anonymouses must know that when you don't sign your name, much speculation ensues as I play detective and try to decipher your identity with very few clues!)

Anywho...What do you mean my writing is getting better?! I'm taking that as a backhanded compliment.....and a challenge. I actually really like some of my previous posts. I totally crack myself up. I'll try to continue to improve. Although I'm not sure I like this pressure......

(Are you my husband?)

Cheaper by the Baker's Dozen said...

As usualy you are loyal and sweet and encouraging. But even with those great characteristics, I am not about to make a New Year's resolution about blogging. I like to set goals that are actually a possibility.

(But I do hope to write more. It's a great outlet. And my crazy life gives me plenty of material to work with :)

Anonymous said...

I am certainly here. Sympathizing (that fine, gray layer of who-knows-what that envelopes the male camper is an old friend to us) and also very glad that you are still there. After all, one grows suspicious after a post-free month.

Anonymous said...

I am certainly here. And sympathizing.

Anonymous said...

I am a newbie to your blog. So enjoy your posts. I always wanted a big family of my own but it just didn't work out that way for me. So I live vicariously through others. :) Thanks for sharing.

Dayna said...

One day, you just HAVE to write a book. I'd buy four: one for me, and one for each of my girls.