Hey!!!!!! Are you mad at me? We never talk any more. Where you been?
It’s true. I feel like the wave of impulsive blogging has passed. I guess it was a phase. That doesn’t mean I can’t stop back and say “Hi!”, does it? Especially since now and then folks ask me why I’m not blogging anymore. What nice people to ask me that. I even had someone offer up some ideas for subject matter, hoping to give me some inspiration. It worked.
It’s tough to be me. I’ve got that one part of brain that just loves attention. I mean, I’m getting a little too old to pretend it isn’t true. Don’t you think? When I was a wee lass, I could often be found standing in the middle of my big family, hamming it up. I don’t remember anyone else standing next to me. It was just me, and an audience of loving relatives. The audience laughed, and encouraged my nonsense. Really, when it comes down to it, you can always blame your family.
But, then there’s the other part of my brain. The part of my brain that is self conscious. The part of my brain that knows it’s weird to enjoy attention. I think I’ve told you this before, but I am legit jealous of shy people. I always have been. I’ve always been drawn to the quiet people. I married one. Sure, I like quiet people, because they’re less likely to interrupt my show, but I also like quiet people because I admire them, and wish I was more like them. You always want what you can’t have.
Can we talk about this summer? This thing is off to an incredible start. Zeke and Olivia are on a missions trip this week. Eddie is busy being 19, which doesn’t require much from me, sadly. Scott and I find ourselves staring down the path of empty nestism. Holy crap, does that all go quickly.
It is Scott’s and my 23rd anniversary today. Last week, we were hiking and talking about the week ahead without our kids. We decided we needed to make the week a practice run for the future when our kids no longer live under our roof. Like most of the folks I know, Scott and I accidentally made our kids our whole life. Oops. Who are we without kids now? We have no idea.
On our hike, I remembered something. I said, “Hey! Sunday is our anniversary.” We congratulated each other right there, because I’m pretty sure for the last 23 years, or so, we have remembered our anniversary ON our anniversary, or AFTER our anniversary passed.
We decided to test our empty nest skills AND celebrate our relationship skills of the past 23 years with one trip. We decided to go camping. In a tent.
When the kids were very young, we thought we were going to be a camping family. We were just getting rolling with that, and looking at possibly buying a pop-up camper when Eddie got very sick with Lyme Disease. Eddie was bitten by a tick on one of our camping trips. About a year into that helacious fiasco, Scott and I decided we hated camping.
Well, maybe we don’t hate camping anymore. People change. Our camping skills are a little rusty, but we do watch “Naked and Afraid” A LOT. So, how bad could it be? We get to have clothes, and matches, and a camp stove, and a flashlight, and toilet paper. It’s like the freakin’ Ritz.
We have a shelf in our garage reserved for camping stuff.. For the past 11 years we haven’t given that shelf much thought. In fact, I think we came pretty close to dumping the contents of that shelf into the garage sale pile last year. I’m glad we didn’t.
We have a plastic tub that is filled with a lot of our camping supplies we bought when the kids were young. It was fun opening that tub. I’m always surprised to realize I’m not as incompetent as I thought. We have decent stash of useful camping items. Good job, Miki.
I was really excited to sort through and organize our items for our trip. At the same time, I was struck with several waves of melancholy. That bin was packed to prepare for a camping trip with two adults and three small children. I started going through all the items and memories began to assault me. If I was living a “Lifetime” made for TV movie (and, I wish I was), that would have been the scene where I stared longingly into space before a montage of family camping memories were shown set to sad music.
The montage would include me wearing Olivia in a backpack, while she cried because she was hot; the boys would have been rolling on top of each other in the dirt, and beating each other with sticks. That montage would probably make you cry. Tears of joy. That you aren’t me.
We had some fun camping. I was sad it was over. Scott and I came to a conclusion on one of our hikes. It’s really hard to escape who you are. Just because you think you might be getting kind of old, and you have been pretending to be a mature adult for more than half your life, doesn’t mean you are.
When I met Scott I was 16 and he was 19. We bonded over sports, fitness, and sarcasm. We loved to have fun. We loved to play almost anything. Turns out, we still do.
We went to Perrot State Park in Wisconsin. We spent $100 on our anniversary weekend, and I’m trying to figure out how we could have had more fun had we spent $10,000.
I think it’s okay that we made our kids our life. When we start having more of those moments where they don’t need us like they do now, I feel pretty sure we’ll revert right back to the stuff we love. We saw such incredible views this weekend. My eyes couldn’t get enough of it. Those views made me think of all the other beautiful views we haven’t seen yet, in Wisconsin and beyond. I was thinking that when you’re very curious, it is hard to be depressed. There’s too much to see. There’s too much to do.
Happy 23rd Anniversary to this freaky, fun guy. The future looks full.