This past weekend, Chris took Brendan on his first Father-Son camp out with our church and it made me realize just how grown up Brendan is. I can’t believe he’s old enough to go camping with his dad!
NOTE: As a first hand witness to the camping events, I thought I'd add a few insights into what went on during Brendan's first camp out. My notes will be in red font throughout this post.
NOTE: This is the first time Valerie and I have collaborated on a post.
NOTE: Valerie doesn't know I am doing this. Hopefully she approves of my content.
NOTE: I will now proceed with my details of the weekend's events.
Brendan was super excited about going camping even though we weren’t sure if he knew exactly what camping meant. I did a Google Image search and showed him pictures of people camping and sleeping in tents, and that got him even more excited until I told him he’d be sleeping in a sleeping bag- he didn’t like that idea very much but everything else sounded good to him. While we were getting everything together by the door, Brendan decided to line up all his toys to take with him too. He even packed a backpack full of his trains and cars but unfortunately he had to leave all those behind. Our tent isn’t that big.
I wish we had some video showing Brendan packing up all of his toys for the big camp out. It wasn't just him piling up the toys by the door, it was him yelling, squealing, running back and forth, and the occasional pause as he stopped to think about what other items he needed to pack, then it was back to squealing, running, and yelling. This probably went on for 45 minutes or so. It's safe to say he was excited. He didn't know what camping was, but he new it would be fun and I suspect he thought it would be for more than a day, which is why he felt the need to pack everything he owns.
Brendan was a little mad about the toys but once the car was packed, he was ready to go. Of course it didn’t hurt that his best buddy Josh was going to be there too. Brendan kept saying before they left, “Brendan camping, dad camping, Josh camping.” He was so stoked that his favorite people were all going to be there.
I have to admit that I was worried about this Father and Son camp out. I thought Brendan might run off and get lost in the woods, but to my surprise, he was well behaved and always came back when I called him, even when his friends were off playing elsewhere. If Brendan keeps this up we can avoid the embarrassment of hooking him up to a toddler leash. Although, Brendan might actually enjoy the leash.
Brendan is a big fan of hot dogs so he actually ate dinner there. I was a little worried that he would be too excited to eat. He’s been known to do that.
You wouldn't know by this picture, but Brendan actually toasted his own hot dog over the campfire. It was cooked just right; nice and hot, but no black char marks. Brendan also wanted to throw other items in the fire, such as his juice box, cookies, and the rod used to cook the hot dog.
Falling asleep was a little hard since Brendan could hear people in the other tents and the older kids who were still awake. Chris said that Brendan kept yelling “Quiet!” at the other kids, which made me laugh because usually Brendan is the loud one and we’re telling him to be quiet.
Chris and Brendan had such a great time and I’m glad that they could have a special father-son trip together. Plus, it meant that I got to go out with my friend Sasha and have a nice night out all by myself. It was bliss.
For such a special occasion, we hired a professional photographer to take pictures of us as we slept soundly in our little two-man tent.
Before the above picture was taken there was a moment when we first were getting settled into the tent where I smelled something funny. I checked Brendan's underwear and he was clean. I then checked my underwear. I too was clean. I tried to ignore the smell, but it kept getting worse as Brendan moved around. I finally tracked down the origin of the foul odor and it turned out to be a whole lot of fresh poop on the bottom of Brendan's shoe. I immediately ripped the shoe of and tried to clean it up as best I could scraping most of the mess off onto a log, then dumping bottled water on it. I left the shoe out the rest of the night. The scary thing is that no one had any animals with them at this camp out and I could only assume it was human. Very gross.
In other camping news, Brendan found a little frog that he chased around a tree while I set up the tent. Some other kids found a turtle they carried around with them the whole night. But the wildlife adventures didn't end there. When we got home from the camp out I noticed a small bug crawling up my leg. I tried to smash it, but it was strong and couldn't be squished. I took it outside and was able to crush it with a rock. My first thought was that it looked like a tick. However, it looked different from any tick I had seen, so I just brushed the thought off. A while later Brendan was getting changed and I saw a bug with it's small head burrowed into Brendan's belly. I new it was a tick. We got one out of his stomach, his leg, and his head. A day later I had one in my leg (even after showering twice and changing all my clothes). We don't like ticks, but the good news is that there appear to be no signs of Lyme disease.
Back to the camp out. Brendan and I slept through the night and were woken up at six AM to kids shouting and running around. We didn't get much sleep and we tried to eat the breakfast they made for us, but Brendan isn't in to breakfast burritos, so we just came home. We surprised Valerie by being home so early, but she was happy to see us again. She always enjoys having the bed to herself. But the camp out was a success and will surely be the first of many more to come.