not all adventures are fun

We cut our Labor-Day camping trip a little short due to rain. Well, not just rain: torrential downpours and a severe thunderstorm.

Friday was awesome. We set up our campsite, the kids ran around, we visited with friends. We enjoyed s’mores by the fire, put the kids to bed, and then stayed up late talking and drinking. The weather was nice and the night was a comfortable sleeping temperature.

Saturday was also nice. We took the kids swimming, played soccer, walked through the woods, and rode bikes. We relaxed and had fun. Saturday night we repeated the s’mores-drinking-laughing-campfire routine.  Then at 4:30 am we woke to a deafening crash. Thunder. And lightning and rain. A lot of rain.

Remember, we are in a tent. It’s a big tent, but it’s just a tent. The kids freak out, jump into bed with us and we all snuggle together in the storm. For like 15 minutes, it was pretty cool. Every time the lightning flashed, we could see the trees through the tent fabric. The thunder seemed to shake the ground. The rain was wild. The kids were quiet, almost asleep, and my husband & I smiled at each other. Life was good.

Then a drip of water landed on my shoulder. Then another.

“Shit,” I say. A little voice says back, “You said we’re not supposed to say that word, mom.”

“Right. Sorry.”

In five minutes our tent was basically flooded. Blankets were half soaked, Clothes were wet. My husband took the kids into the car to sleep in the backseat while I moved things around to keep our stuff as dry as possible. The rain tapered to a drizzle as the sun rose, and I made our blueberry pancakes under the canopy. We ate, and laughed, and drank coffee, and planned our escape (I’m not a total wimp, but more rain and storms were forecast). It wasn’t all bad. Overcast days are good for fishing, and it turns out vegetarian hot-dogs make pretty good bait.

Driving home I ask my husband why we didn’t put up the tarp over our tent like we used to when rain was a possibility. What were we thinking? He says “We’ve gotten soft.” Yeah, I guess we have.

My son is mad, staring out the window with a little frown, because: “You promised we’d stay for three nights. That was only two nights!”

I say “Well, we had an adventure, anyway, right?”

My daughter (also mad about leaving early. wet beds and mud are meaningless to an 8 year old camping with her friends) pipes up, “I thought adventures were supposed to be fun.”

We always find a toad.

Well, I had fun.

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