Exciting Real Life Photo of my husband cooking something.
ArtDog Wearing "The Coat"
And now for our exciting conclusion!
Standing out there in the darkness, time stopped. I knew something was out there, but I didn't know what it was. I shone the light around, mildly disturbed there were no reflecting eyes. I called out. No one answered. I didn't think danger was lurking around the next bend, but I also didn't want to prove myself wrong. Just as I was about to consider turning back to camp a rushing came from the bushes straight at me.........
"Grrrrr!!!" Yelled my husband grabbing me around the waist. I screamed. Then I made him stand guard while I changed into my PJ's. I had lost all nerve for doing anything out there by myself. He didn't seem to mind the job. When we returned to camp things were winding down. The children began rolling out their sleeping bags. In keeping with Patrick McManus's story about "The Coat" (Read The Night The Bear Ate Goombaw), ArtDog brought along an old fur coat to sleep in.
"The Coat" is much more enjoyed than "The Bag", which belongs to Super Catman. Each camping trip, he is relegated to it. Years ago, he had to start making due with his sister's old pink sleeping bag by default. This has always been quite distressing to him, though I keep forgetting to look for another. Each trip, he tries to finagle somebody elses sleeping bag. Each trip he winds up with the same old unmanly pink one. Each trip he is embarrassed when night falls and thoroughly disgusted at his sleeping demise. To make matters worse, his sister chose a spot next to him. When she suggested he cuddle up next to her, it was just to much. He harrumphed grumpily and scooted away sulking a bit.
The night passed by uneventfully, and I slept reasonably well. What I really needed was rest. I was pleasantly surprised when I got a lot of it the next day. My husband made breakfast and lunch. Moonbeam was surprisingly content playing where ever I laid around reading. I spent the morning reading by the campfire and later enjoyed some special time with my husband. The kids all took off to fish. In the afternoon, I laid around on the dock reading a stupid novel which I later threw in the trash. Moonbeam played. The only ambitious thing I did do was to photograph some turtles. My husband first spotted them and took Moonbeam out to see them. He, too, photographed them. Later on I took her on my own Turtle Safari. I was also earlier charged by a mother duck who decided I was too close to her ducklings which I later discovered hidden in the weeds. It was a beautiful, warm, sunny day. It was the kind of day laying around at a lake with your husband and kids was perfect for. Despite my initial thought of staying home "to rest", I was glad I came. After all, Rest is Relative. After lounging around most of the day, my husband told me we'd better get ready to go. The big race was the next morning and we needed to get home at a decent time. In the "rush" to pack up and get a quick family picture, I re injured my ankle again.
The 5K Fun Run!
The next morning, nobody wanted to get out of bed. Most of us were under the weather. My ankle felt strange. We were all exhausted from the fresh air and fun. I didn't even feel like dragging myself out of bed let alone running a 3 mile race. Would the kids actually do it? One by one the kids got up unenthused. They all knew nobody was making them do it. They all got ready without much conversation. Dirty laundry was stacked up all over. I suppose had I stayed home "to rest", that would have gotten done. I couldn't find my running gear.
Some how we all piled back into the Suburban and some how we showed up to the run on time. My boss was the one organizing it as part of our hospital's health fair. She smiled at us. None of us had ever been to or participated in a "fun run". We signed a paper and were given numbers. There were around 35 runners of varying ages and appearance of competency. My boss got the runners in a circle to lead them in stretches. My kids looked horrified and just stood there. Finally we were all off running. My husband, pushing the stroller with Moonbeam was to speed walk beside Super Catman who was participating in the 3K. Super Catman had done a small degree of preparation and ran like the wind, pleasing his dad. When they sped across the finish line, he'd done it in 14.7 mn and come in 2nd place for kids. My husband, though pushing a stroller, was the first adult across the finish line. He beat a woman pushing a stroller. Mildly embarrassed, he was awarded with a shirt.
The Archer and Art Dog stayed at the front of the 5K pack. Sock Fashion Expert and I were a ways behind the front runners, though we jogged on. I had given a corny speech in the car as if I were the coach of an underdog team telling them my own goofy rendition of "The Little Engine Who Could". As we ran up a hill together, I huffed "I think I can". She huffed "I know I can" back. After passing by many houses, we found ourselves running down a country road. I had worried we'd get lost, but there always seemed to be people ahead of us and signs at the turns. After passing by a farm with a pony who seemed to be cheering us on, we saw the half way water station and turn around. Archer followed by Art Dog sped by with the front pack runners yelling some instruction as they went by. Little kids handed us water we gulped as we turned around mid stride. Until now Sock Fashion Expert had kept ahead of me, but now she seemed to be lagging behind. I worried about the pain in her ankles. We had both wrapped our ankles before running. Mine hurt some, but it was holding up okay. On we ran. After a long stretch, I could make out the hospital in the distance and I knew we were close. I started picking up speed knowing SFE was safe now and not far behind. SFE and I had trained more than anybody else. Artdog wasn't far behind us in preparation. Though I never felt like I ran all that hard, I would cross the finish line with a time of 29.51 and she was 30.01, our best times ever. My boss said I did good. I felt happy.
I was proud to hear Art Dog placed 2nd for kids in the 5K with a time of 26.11. I was simply stunned and proud to hear The Archer had won the 5k. This is the man kid who had NEVER ran 3 miles until last week. He did it once and once only wearing shoes that were falling apart carrying his rifle along "just to see if he could". Now he had won the 5K with a time of 22.21 "not trying all that hard".
Despite the fact that a month of dirty dishes awaits me (my part of the bargain for any kid who ran) - Despite the fact that I had to start a stretch of night shifts that night - And despite the fact we'd all been sick and some injured, I was glad. I'd shown them a healthy avenue and they'd not only taken it, but excelled in it. Selah.