We spent the last day of our adventure on water slides in Virgina, and I was so proud of Justin and so grateful I could have just burst. He climbed stairs again and again, frolicked in the water and zoomed down the “Cowabunga” about a hundred times. Seven months ago, he could not walk. We have come so far.
Nicky and Michael tackled the bigger slides and some kind of log-rope-climbing-bridge thing. Their joyful, exuberant smiles and Justin’s gleeful giggles are tucked away in my heart and forever sealed. Memories to be revisited often, especially on the crappy days.
In case you couldn’t tell, I’m not really the RV-ing, camping enthusiast. Last time I did anything camping related was in the eighties. And I certainly didn’t have three lively boys to manage. But I like to try new things, stepping out of my comfort zone, to experience new perspective.
One thing is for sure. You can learn a lot about people sticking them in a narrow, thirty-foot space for five days.
For example, I gained a whole new respect for my husband, who is actually really good at random camping stuff that I cannot do. Like he can keep a fire going for hours, make the RV turn without hitting anything, read a campground map really well and empty a sewage tank without batting an eye.
I also realized that my kids can hardly breathe if they don’t have their faces stuck in a media device at least every five minutes. Okay, I already knew that. But this was supposed to be an outdoorsy kind of experience. Yet as much as I encouraged hiking, lightning-bug-catching, campfire- story-telling or just simply go-out-and-play, their millennial-wired brains kept resisting until they went zombie-eyed in front of a tablet, Kindle or iPhone. (Or whatever their generation is going to be called, but you get the idea.) Kids these days are all about the screen time, which is a far cry from when I was young and all we had was whatever happened to be on channel 12. And you always really hoped it wasn’t Joy of Painting.
Okay, SOME of you are laughing.
Anyway, I am exaggerating a little. During our down time from parks or sight-seeing, we DID enjoy swimming, air-hockey, swinging, mini-golf, campfire singing and story telling, Monopoly and family devotions. And we even managed to squeeze in a chapter of the book I’m reading to them, The Secret Garden. (I must require exposure to classics. I’m not really sure exactly why except it seems like a good idea.)
Well, we are exhausted and broke. But it was totally worth it. I don’t think any of us thought about cancer for one second. And the respite has renewed my soul. The grace of our Lord abounds.
This is Katie Pierantozzi, signing off to get some shut-eye, now an expert in the area of being only an average camper. Grace be with you, my friends.