I’m listening to Paul Simon sing “allergies.” No idea why I like that song so much. It’s… weird.
I’m painting everything different shades of purple. Periwinkle on the walls, deep purple on a table… “the one that got away” on my toes… Always purple, lately. Speaks to me, now, that color.
I took the kids camping. Sorta. I don’t camp. Well. maybe I do.
We went to the Abilene State Park and we stayed in a yurt. It looks like a tepee, sorta. It has beds and a refrigerator and a microwave, but really it’s a step up from a tent and a step down from a cabin. FANTASTIC. This went really well.
No one else was there for some reason. Just us. In the state park. With a bunch of deer and bobcats.
We were pulling up to the yurt the first day and from the backseat I hear Caden-9yr say, “What was the name of the hotel we stayed in last month…? With Dad…? The Four….? WHAT? The… OH! yes. The Four Seasons.”
I put my head on the steering wheel. Counted to 5.
“Babe. This is NOT the Four Seasons. This is a yurt. And it might be awful. But we are here in the name of adventure and love and family, and I want to have a great time.”
“Oh! I KNOW! Cool, Mom.”
And we did.
I wanted to build a fire. I brought lighter fluid, but I wanted desperately not to use it. I wanted to conquer firebuilding and cooking raw meat over a flame, just me and my boys. Just firebuilding techniques and a cheap gas station lighter.
Deer came up to us and ate right out of our hands. Chicken. Why are deer in Abilene eating chicken, anyway? That makes no sense. But we enjoyed it. So did they.
Ethan-13yr was frantically warning all of us to avoid the armadillos, as they are carriers of leprosy. Everyone pretty much ignored him. We were busy snuggling the deer.
At one point, Ethan-13yr was SO frustrated that he yelled, “IF ANYONE GETS LEPROSY, IT IS NOT! MY! FART!”
And then we all just died laughing, because he was horrified he’d yelled that, and hadn’t meant to, and that wasn’t what he meant at all, and he got really tired of me whispering that to him over the next few days every time we smelled something nasty. “Hey… it’s not my fart!”
The first night in the yurt, Caden-9yr and I had go to the bathroom. At 1:30am. We were unaware until RIGHT THEN that there were bobcats everywhere between us and the bathroom way far away, and neither one of us really knew much about bobcats or how dangerous the situation was, but we DID know we needed to twinkle. So off we went. Holding hands. Scared to pieces.
We got back to the yurt, having avoided two large bobcats, and were on a huge adrenaline rush. We googled bobcats on my phone. We discussed how we should have awakened Etahn-13yr, our family animal expert. We stared at the yurt ceiling, unable to sleep for hours. And then we’d relive the experience and crack up. And then one of us would drift off, and the other would get the giggles.
The next day we went to the zoo. Caden-9yr and I were amazed at how tiny their bobcats were. Ours had been much larger. And scarier.
We fished. Sorta.
It was important to fish, just the four of us. So we did. Fish jumped everywhere on a completely empty and abandoned lake. We couldn’t catch any of them though, so we just had fun with our rods and worms and mud and I soaked up the sun and avoided touching gross stuff.
The second night in the yurt, we had neighbors. A group of girls moved in behind us. Caden-9yr said something very sexist about how we’d know if they saw the bobcats when we heard them scream. I ignored him. But it bothered me. After all, the previous night, HE had been so afraid of the bobcats, he’d insisted on coming into the women’s restroom with me instead of separating briefly and going alone to the men’s room. SO. Big talk, my precious boy child.
We were almost asleep when Seth-7yr tearfully admitted he really needed to twinkle and he really really did not want to. We all went. Flashlights in hand. Seth-7yr glued to my side.
And the two large bobcats from the first night were not around. But five to seven smaller ones WERE. We held hands and on the way back there was one in between us and our yurt. Ethan-13yr scared me to PIECES when he decided he should hiss loudly at it.
I didn’t know who hissed. Silly me, I assumed it was the BOBCAT that was hissing, not the HUMAN. Perhaps a little strategy talk would have been in order there. But he hissed really dramatically, and the bobcat circled us and then followed us all the way back until we were running the last little bit. I’d suggest not hissing, should there be a next time.
We got inside and the boys went to sleep pretty quickly. And then…. there was a bloodcurdling group girly scream.
I couldn’t help it.
Then a car, leaving, in a hurry. And they were gone.
THAT was what I wanted. A fun sort of adventure with those three precious boys, where we plan what we want to do and then go do it and accomplish new stuff together.
It truly happened that way. How nice. I mean, The Four Seasons it was NOT.
But I liked it. And we’d SO do it again.