Hello Mother Flippin Fans,
What a great weekend I had. This weekend I went camping with my family at Fisherman’s Island State Park near Charlevoix. My wife reminded me that no matter what time we got home, I had a blog to write for her loyal fans. So, here it goes, I hope I can live up to all the hype.
I love summer. This weekend was one of the most enjoyable weekends that I have had in a long time. I got to see my two oldest boys explore the forest at our camp site and experience the freedom of the outdoors. I got to laugh at my wife and her racoon adventure. I even had a chance to witness the excitement of my 1 year old as we crossed over the Mackinaw Island Bridge. Needless to say we created a lot of memories this weekend. I think that’s why I like summer so much.
Ever since I was a little boy, summer was the only time for vacations. My parents were not the, it’s-ok-if-he-misses-a-little-school type, so vacations were always in the summer. I can remember driving to Brimley State Park with my parents in our station wagon. I got to ride in the back in the seat that faced backwards with two of my brothers. I remember being so hot and sticky, but loving it just the same. The excitement of visiting somewhere new was such a powerful thing that we expected to have fun no matter what.
My dad had just picked up a pop up trailer before we left. My parents and six of us boys slept in that thing. My older two brothers slept in the back of my dads pick up truck. I even remember it raining one morning and all of us jumping in the station wagon and going up to the Soo Locks. What’s funny about all of this is that I don’t remember a whole lot of the trip. Just these little snap shots that hang in my memory.
I can only imagine what my mother was doing during my childhood camping trip. Like I said, I had a lot of fun camping this weekend, but what a lot of work too. We camped at a rustic site with no electricity or showers (Tashmica loved that :) Every operation that was done at home still needed to happen at the campsite. Tashmica and I did it with three boys, can you imagine doing it with 8! I know, crazy right? My mother is a saint just to agree to go camping and call it a vacation.
Looking back, I can appreciate all that she was doing without me and my brothers ever noticing. Things like sweeping out all of the sand and dirt out of the camper, hanging smelly swim trunks to dry, and cooking dinner with half of the necessary utensils. My mom had a way of hiding any exhausting feeling that she had while she was around us. She always seemed to have so much energy. She always seemed to have exactly what we needed at the time we needed it. When we came back from the beech on a windy day, she had a warm hobo stew just coming out of the fire. When we were getting cold as the sun was going down, she had dry, warm clothes that we could grab off the line. When we were ready for bed, she had a clean spot in the pop up all ready for us. Through all of this, I never remember my mom telling us how hard the trip was or how many things she did for us. Rather, she asked us about the things that we did and what we remembered. I think that is where her true joy was, seeing what a good time her boys were having and being there to enjoy it with them.
Thank God for Mothers! I must have made a sarcastic remark to my wife after every naughty thing that my boys did on the trip. Going in the tent with sandy, dirty feet was definitely a pet peeve. Then there was the poking of sticks in the fire, climbing sap laden pine trees, and the never ending nagging for more sugar!
I was cut short before I could finish explaining my annoyance to my wife though. She has a way of bringing me away from the dark side. Yeah, I had some solid fatherly principles to stand on. They were not being safe, or they were going to get sick, or they were going to offend someone!
My wife saw it differently though. She reminded me of the fun that summer vacations bring. She reminded me that my boys were not toddlers any more and how far they could see from the top of that pine tree, that the sand could always be swept up just before bed and that we had plenty of toothpaste and tooth brushes. That’s why I say thank God for mothers. Once again, I can attribute the joy that I had on this summer vacation to a mother. (And a great wife)
Thank you, all mothers, for the joy that you bring the men and children in your lives.
Thank you, Tashmica for being so loving and nurturing to me and our 3 sons!
Photo Courtesy of Isaiah Torok
For a full look at our weekend click here.