Adventures in the Great Outdoors, I

If you took the way that my husband (The Man Of The House, or TMOTH) and I grew up and compared them, you would see the reason why the two of us are vastly different. Unless we were at my grandparents’ farm, we didn’t do much outdoorsy stuff–camping, hiking, fishing, etc. My husband? was outside ALL THE TIME.

Ironically, my husband and I met on a camping trip–the weekend was the first time I’d ever stayed overnight in a tent.

While I’m still not an “outdoorsy” girl–I’d still rather be at home with my books and laptop–I’ve been getting better about being outside. Or at least I’m trying to be.

Frequently on the weekends, my husband says for me to pack a cooler and grab some diapers for our three-year-old, and off we go. Sometimes I grumble, if not to him, to myself. I’m not a spontaneous person, I like to have some time to plan things when possible. An hour to pack everything we’ll need for the rest of the day and it’s 11 AM? Yeah, doesn’t thrill me too much.

But, I like what it’s teaching my kids–to be flexible, roll with the punches, and most importantly, enjoy the outdoors (although, much of the time, all they’re enjoying at this age are movies in the car and an excessively long car ride.)

Father’s Day was one of these days. On the way to church, TMOTH made noises that he wanted to go fishing. So, I had about a two hour warning before we got home that this was on the plate. Get home, pack lunch, grab the diapers, head out. 

Then, what inevitably happens with us, “Where are we going?”

“I don’t know. You tell me.”

“It’s Father’s Day. You pick.”

“I don’t know where to go!”

A bluegill our daughter caught on Father’s Day

I sigh, make a few half-hearted suggestions. We stop and he retrieves the Gazeteer from the trunk. I start telling him directions. The kids watch “How to Train Your Dragon” for the 17th time in the last few weeks. The younger one naps. The dog is cramped, on the floor between the front and back seats of our mid-sized sedan.

We’re all wishing we had a Suburban, especially the dog.

Eventually, we find a spot we’ve been to before, a long, long time ago–maybe before the kids came around. TMOTH and our daughter fish.

Our daughter catches two small bluegill, TMOTH catches a small catfish and a small bluegill.

I keep our son from falling into the water, take pictures of dragonflies when I can get close enough to them without our son getting too close and scaring them off. We huddle down together after retrieving our hats from the car as light showers come across the lake and hit us head on. By the time we leave, my T-shirt is soaked from the rain.

I’m cold, haven’t had dinner, and am tired, but other than gently reminding my husband he neglected to get me something to eat when I couldn’t eat at Subway (I started a gluten-free diet last fall, so Subway is NOT on my menu,) I don’t say too much. I do adjust the thermostat in the car to something a little warmer, then help my husband figure out where the heck to go. We take a wrong turn or two (I’ve gotten turned around on where we are,) and I mark the Gazeteer in ink on where to go again, and scratch off roads shown on the map that aren’t roads.

It’s been a successful day overall. We made it home in one piece. The kids got to run around and fish. I took several pictures, none I’m thrilled with, but they’re okay. And more importantly, my husband got me out of the house. I’ve become quite a homebody the last couple years. Having your life center around the health and wellness of your immune-compromised son will do that to you.

Next up on our list of challenges–a possible weekend trip to a cabin, or maybe even in a tent.

I’m not sure I’m ready yet.

Until next time…

Growing Pains

If you’ve been around Word Wanderings very long, you know I’ve got two kids. My first, my daughter, just turned three. And in the last month or so, I’ve seen her grow up a lot. It’s a little sad on one hand, but interesting to watch, too.

Being a typical three-year-old, my daughter is getting a bossy streak. She tries to boss TMOTH, me, the dog, and her little brother. She even tries to tell you where to go when driving. Talk about a backseat driver! There’s nothing quite like a little girl going, “No, Mommy, that way! THAT WAY!” when you’re out running errands. Usually, she just doesn’t want to go home, or thinks we need to go somewhere else. Sonic is her favorite stop–and she knows where most of them in our normal areas of travel. (Of course, we just moved, so those normal areas are shifting.)

Having an independent streak can be dangerous. I’ve had to really work at stamping down on her independence lately. Not that I don’t want her to be an independent woman one day, just not at the age of three! Running through Target or the grocery store is irresponsible and discourteous, and leaving the backyard–taking the dog with you–can lead to one or both getting hit by a car.

It makes me think about how God parents us. We make mistakes, He allows for punishment. It’s kind of strange to think of a twenty-nine-year-old being parented (shouldn’t I know what’s going on by now?) but I’ve seen it happen. And, while I’m not necessarily sure every time what I’m supposed to learn, I can only hope I learn the lesson–as my daughter learns she can’t run through Target or have that mini-Barbie that’s in the checkout line.

Next week is my post for the ChristianWriters.com blog chain. The topic is “Harvest”. I’ve been a little negligent about posting reminders about the blog chain, and I’ve since moved the list from my sidebar to a separate page. If you go here, you’ll find the links for every post. We almost have a full month, and this next week is full! I hope you’ll check out the posts.

Until next time,