This report is coming to you from one of the girls’ tents by the river in our back yard. With just over a week left to go in our summer holidays, I’ll be honest and admit that I’d rather be having another co-ed camping adventure with Michael; but that isn’t an option when we literally have dozens of kids with us – including my brother, sister, cousins, and a lot of their little friends. I’m already getting the story for the day out of order, though, so let’s back up and start at the beginning.
My morning plans for Tai Chi and breakfast at home changed when Michael called and asked for help at the Inn. I was happy to help out, and had fun working with Michael, Jacob, and Miranda; but that did mean messing up the start to my chores part of the day – and we had a lot to get done today to get ready for the holiday weekend. That also meant that I’ve pretty much worked all day – if you include the babysitting as work too. I got home again from the breakfast shift at nine-thirty; got right to work on mowing the lawn and the rest of my chores; and worked at them until three o’clock except for a short break to eat a sandwich and drink a bottle of water. Then it was time to set up the tents and get ready for the camping part of our adventure in babysitting.
I had about an hour to do that, because I needed to be at the Inn for my scheduled dinner shift so that I could help out while Michael was at his ball game, but Mom and Dad had teen help from some of the other babysitters tonight – including Rowen and Jessica. We really do have a major camping event going on here tonight, and while not all of the teens are babysitting too; we do have at least one babysitter for every two or three kids. We had eight tents set up by the time I needed to hit the shower and get ready for work; and then I was on the run again and off to the Inn to help with the dinner prep work. There was some end-of-season baseball dinners going on at the Inn tonight too, but Mom and Dad weren’t in on that because we had family and friends barbecue at our house instead. It would have been great to be there for it, but that wasn’t an option, and if I hadn’t been working; I’d have been at the park for Michael’s game anyway.
The start of our dinner rush was more of a flood of customers; and that was almost entirely due to the one blast of bad weather that we had today – a thunderstorm that rolled through town starting a half-hour or so after I got to the Inn. For some reason, we had quite a few people decide to stop in to eat while getting out of the rain too; though I don’t think we ended up with many extra customers – they just stopped to eat a bit earlier than planned. While that was true, the sports dinner parties ahead of the fun at Sheldon’s didn’t get started until six-thirty so that store owners could join in for that fun if they wanted to do that with their team mates.
By the way – yes, the rain affected the barbeque at my house, but they didn’t eat until six-thirty either; so the only change to the plan was that they ate indoors instead of outside – and the rain had mostly moved on by the time Dad and the other grillmasters needed to get to work.
Michael’s game was delayed too, but he was still at the park on time, and while the ball diamond was a bit damp; it wasn’t bad-enough to cancel the games tonight. I did hear that there were two of the three o’clock games that were shortened due to the imminent thunderstorm, but they were far-enough into those games to call winners too. I won’t bore you with second-hand details from Michael’s game, but the fifteen-to-four victory for his Werewolves team over the Ghouls should give you a pretty good idea of how well Michael and Tim did today. Tim was motivated too; since he doesn’t like losing – even when it’s after a big football win that would give them a good reason for being too tired to play a good baseball game.
I worked at the Inn until Michael was finished his game; he came straight to the Inn; and then he stayed to work until close while I got home to start in on my babysitting job. Mom and Dad were already getting ready to go out; and Rowen and Tim were in charge of the kids and junior babysitters while they – and most of the parents – were busy doing that. The campfire had been set up too; but we didn’t start it until shortly before nine o’clock. Instead of doing that, we played tag with the kids; and everyone playing had glow sticks, bracelets, or other options so that we could find each other as it became dark outside. I had a handicap in that game while running around with Brianna in my arms, but we had a blast; and the snuggles, giggles, and kisses were worth the effort – even though we rarely tagged anyone without getting help from kids and teens willing to ‘let’ Brianna tag them.
By the time we sat down for the campfire, I was ready for a nap. That wasn’t an option, but I did get to have more cuddle time with Brianna – and we both cuddled with Michael for parts of the night after he joined us at a bit after ten o’clock. We also took turns playing my guitar and leading the campfire songs; but Brianna was happy to cuddle with Ehlana and Naomi for a while; Rowen had a turn with her too; and then Michael and I had her during the toddler-rated scary campfire stories that Tim and Lucas told the kids right before we took a break to get our most-junior campers ready for bed and tucked in for the night at eleven-thirty.
That last bit of news seems far too clinical for the fun we had, but that says more about how tired I am than anything else; and all you really need to know is that we’ve had one of those really good nights here – even with all of the babysitting work that has gone along with the entertainment. The work and fun can co-exist, and if you doubt me; try having a campfire with a lot of kids and teens; add a dirty, fragrant diaper to the mix; and let the fun begin! ;^)
Sorry, Brianna, but you have a pretty good memory too; so you’ll likely remember this anyway – even without the help of my journal to remind you. The good news for you with this little moment in your life is that I’m sure that our family will collectively have much better stories to tell about you than this one in the future. Then again, Mom does still occasionally bring up that story about me trying to change my own diaper every now and then; so I could be wrong about that!
Moving along, once we had the youngest campers tucked in, and most of them were sleeping; it was time to get to work on putting the next batch of kids to bed. Ethan, Ehlana, Naomi, and Aiden were among those kids; and Rowen and I were two of the babysitters getting the girls ready for bed. The campfire rolled on without us while we were busy; and it was twelve-thirty by the time we could rejoin Michael, Tim, the rest of the teens, and the older kids and tweens for more music and some scarier stories. We stayed around the fire until one-thirty; doused it then; and then we all started to take turns getting ready for bed too. Rowen took a gang of girls up to my room to take turns using the bathrooms on the third floor while I stayed and kept an eye on the sleeping kids; I took a turn once I had babysitting relief; and then a group of us teens sat by the river to wind down and talk until nearly a half-hour after Mom and Dad got home.
They stopped by to say goodnight and make sure that all was well, but then they left us to our work and headed for bed. We didn’t get the party report yet, but it did sound as though they had fun too. I’ll also mention that my parents were not two of the designated drivers tonight, and while they don’t ever drink too much; it was nice to see them get a break from all of the responsibility for a few hours and even get chauffeured home from their night out!
Michael, Tim, Rowen, and I weren’t the first to head for our tents, but we weren’t the last either – mostly because some of the teen couples were still too busy with some moonlit make-out time. I’d have been okay with taking Michael somewhere to do that too, but we really aren’t into doing that kind of thing in public; so we’ll have to find another time for that kind of fun.
We tell ourselves that far too often, but it’s the way it is for us; and we’ll survive.
Once Rowen and I were in our tent with Ehlana, Naomi, and Brianna, we got into our sleeping bags; Rowen fell asleep about ten minutes later; and I’ve been doing my bedtime computing while everyone else has been sleeping. A bit of family business work came up that I’ve dealt with too, but I’ve mostly been doing the usual bedtime computing and this report. There’s a good chance that I’ll regret staying up this late when I’m working another full Sunday shift at the Inn tomorrow, but to family business work wasn’t something I wanted to leave undone either; and it has just been that kind of day anyway so I’m not surprised at how it is ending.
The key word there is ‘ending’ and that’s what I need to be doing with this report. Our wake-up call is going to be very early; we have a major gang to feed and get ready for church; and that’s only the start of my day. While I will be tied up with work, Grandma and Grandpa are also getting home from their trip too; so it is going to be a busy family day as well. I can write about all of that tomorrow, though, and you can flip a digital page to read all about it whenever you’re doing that in my future; so let’s just wrap this up and I’ll get started on my nap. It’s been fun, but it’s time for me to run – or stop running for a while; so, until next time...
...May the Magi Force be with you!