Sometimes adventures go better than we think they will and sometimes they just don’t (and we might need to take a moment to collect our thoughts).
The better-side of this story is that we were able to snag an amazing campsite at Sylvan Lake Campground in Custer State Park, SD. We highly recommend this campground; it is a gem nestled near crystal clear water and towering pine trees. Here we are having a great time with my parents who camped a few sites away – we played in the creek and ate lots of walking tacos around the campfire.
What you don’t and won’t see is the result of giving our kids a decadent dessert on the first night after driving 400 miles. In the total-darkness-middle-of-the-night, I was awakened with, “Mom, I don’t feel good,” followed immediately by me transforming into a second-harvest-walking-taco, instinctively shielding the rental RV from fire hydrant pukes.
Moms, I know you’ve been with me. At a moment’s notice, we can morph into MacGyver. The exits are blocked by Murphy beds, there are no lights, yet our intuition directs us to a random object and with lightning-fast reflexes we dive back blindly into the target zone to capture the next intruder.
Despite telling my sick child, “It’s okay, you’re doing great, everything’s okay,” I calculated how fast we could get back home once the sun came up, whenever that was. Just get back to normal.
My calls for help awakened my husband who jumped to find the flashlight and the gallon-sized Ziploc bags. We still didn’t know where the light switches were, but with the right tools, I relaxed and could finally see the problem we were dealing with. I said out loud, “Dang, I should have packed another towel.”
As if one more towel would have made the midnight mess easier. I started laughing at the ridiculousness of the situation, replaying the day in my head. One moment we’re singing road trip radio songs in the RV, another moment we’re happily snuggling with our kids by the campfire…then the clock strikes midnight and we’re covered in puke.
The next morning, with the fragrance of last night’s adventure still wafting around us, the birds were chirping and the sun was shining. We set out on a hike around Sylvan Lake. Maybe it was the extra caffeine or maybe it was the contrast from being a target zone, but the fresh air, giant rock formations, and hidden waterfalls were like finding a treasured gift. Goodness was restored once more.
Over the past few years of camping with friends, we’ve learned that the first night of camping is always the worst. The first night of anything new, we should expect the unexpected to happen. We will make mistakes, we will make messes, AND we will make memories. Some are sweet memories to remember and some we will laugh about and learn from for years.
My darling child will always know that I will take whatever he throws at me and I will still love him dearly. And I will always know where the gallon freezer Ziplocs are located, no matter what time it is.
Cheers to adventure!