For about the last 22 years, I have thought of this as my birthday present. It’s a little tradition called Fathers and Sons Campout. And for whatever reason…maybe proximity to Mother’s Day…it always falls on my birthday week, or as it does this Saturday, on my birthday. From the time Josh was two, DK has packed up the tents, the s’mores, the hot dog roasters, and any of the boys who met the minimum requirements (more on that later) and left me at home to enjoy a few blissful hours alone in my own house. Well…until after five boys, I had a daughter. But that is okay…we still observe the tradition of making this night all about what I want to do.
I don’t even know how this came about, but DK told the little boys that “they can’t go if they don’t count.” Yes, a little play on words, which he meant quite literally: they had to be able to count to ten aloud in order to go. I used to start in about January, coaching the little ones on their counting. You can do it! One…two…three... I even got a couple of them counting to ten long before they were out of diapers, and fortunately DK was a good sport and took them anyway. It is probably a mark of bad parenting that I even wanted them to go, which you would probably know if you had ever seen a Fathers and Sons Campout. Dads, gotta love ‘em, spend most of their time chewing the fat by the food table, while the little ones are playing in the fire, poking snakes with sticks, peeing in the fire, wandering in the woods, jumping over the fire…yeah, pretty much anything to do with fire. But listen, I had five little boys under eight years old (That is not for the faint of heart...see the photo...it captures those days perfectly). Don’t judge me for sacrificing a toddler or two for my mental health. In fact, contrary to causing them harm, I should probably take credit for their amazing math prowess...it was undoubtedly due to my early number coaching.
With four boys gone, DK is down to two sons with which to enjoy this bonding activity. One of them is so excited that he’s practically hyperventilating. Can you guess which? No? But hey! It’s not about them, anyway. It’s about me! What shall I do? Take Cambria to dinner and a movie? Shopping? DK will take me to Star Trek Saturday night for my birthday, so maybe not the movie? I have to admit, I’m not good at this girl stuff, so help me out here!
By the way, don’t you just adore the pic of DK with the five oldest? Almost makes me wish...