KK and her friends Allison and Miranda have been planning a birthday camp out for KK's eleventh birthday for the past six months (Really, I swear!) They made snack and supply lists, activity lists, seating charts - the works. Bob, though , is the one who got the campsite reservations at Pedernales Falls and made it happen - even figuring out how to put up tents and a tarp shelter for our first meal in a downpour. I would have quit. I apparently wailed bit that I wanted to quit. I deny wailing. But Bob is amazing - competent, calm, persevering, creative about solutions to spatial problems, positive in attitude. I felt anxious throughout the camping trip and not like much of an in charge grown up. Somewhere in the middle I realized that he could handle all the logistic needs even if I couldn't - hard on the self esteem but reassuring - and I fall more in love with that man all the time.
I really like KK's friends - smart, verbal, respectful, funny, lively, helpful, playful, self revealing. Miranda loves to hike and camp and especially swim in the river. Allison is KK's BEST FRIEND in the classic sense - hugs and phone calls and knowing each other's needs and thoughts - balancing each other in vulnerable moments. She made KK a book of "KK's favorite things" started with a rhyming poem (really good!) of her own creation, and gave her two mysteries KK had coveted at the book fair as a gift. They love each other so. Miranda is a good friend but not as close. She seemed comfortable being a third - and loved taking camp responsibilities, especially using her Camp Fire fire starter badge to get our fire going for S'mores - Danny's trip highlight. Allison and Bob had an unusual highlight - long conversation about school and life while the rest of us swam in the river.
The boys enjoyed the camp out immensely I think. Zach experienced the common camping phenomenon of immense appetite, eating surprising quantities of food. He and Danny spent hours collecting pill bugs in paper cups. They were cheerful cooperative campers - even with rain and heat and a crowded van, and they especially enjoyed the camp showers. All five kids were interested in birds, animals, water falls, trees, bugs, flowers - full of observations and questions.
Joanna, Ruth, and James came out on Saturday for birthday cake - a wonderful family interlude.