It wasn’t when great black plumes of smoke began pouring from the boat’s engine, nor during the six hour car ride with sugar-pumped squabbling children and it certainly wasn’t when the patrolman’s lights spun in my rear-view mirror (“Just a friendly warning, ma’am.”)
I’d promised Kellie that all the money spent on food and equipment, hours spent sorting through camping equipment, the half-day packing the boat and the bucket toilet would all be worth our efforts. That at some moment at Lake Powell we’d all look at each other and say, “Yep, we’d do it all again just to be here right now.”
That moment came. Again and again.
Was it when the three smallest ones decided that they loved wild tube rides and rejected their nickname “the littlies” for “The Ninjas”?
Or when ‘Cork Man’ and ‘Boy Boy Buoy’ saved the day?
For Gabe it was eating Pringles straight from the can
disco dancing on the bow
and sleeping 12 hours (truly!) a day.
We learned that Aussies are serious about sun protection. Did you know that Australian schoolkids can’t go out to recess without sunscreen and I wide-brimmed hat? They’re pretty smart.
Erik’s newest sun-solution was a set of white sheets. The kids loved hiding under them and, well, they provided plenty of extra entertainment.
I can’t get enough of watching the people I love, laugh and play together.
Work (and his hernia) kept Benny-boy at home (darn responsible kid). Happily our campsite had cell phone reception and we put him on speaker phone every evening regaling him with the tales of our day.
Stef temporarily took Ben’s place as alpha-brother.
Hans channels James Bond when he’s driving the boat,
but transforms back to a kid when someone falls off the tube.
Yes, that’s Mary harnessed to the raft, towing Gabe wherever he desires.
But the best, sweetest moment of all was returning home Friday night, sunburnt and sore, chatting with Ben as he perched on the foot of our bed until 1:18 in the morning
just because he had stories to tell,
just because he missed us.