Sunday, May 6, 2012

Almost a Campout

Elijah was bouncing off the walls on Friday afternoon with excitement. He had been counting down the days, then the hours until the Father/Son campout with Manny!  They loaded their tent, sleeping bags, extra clothes, toothbrushes (yes, I insisted), flashlights, snacks, and hotdog roasting stick into the back of the truck and headed over to the campsite (aka. field next to our church) at 4:30.  The happiness on my sweet Elijah's face was priceless.  An adventure with his Daddy is so rare, let alone a whole night just the two of them camping!  I was almost jealous that I didn't get to participate.

I spoke to Manny in the early evening and learned that Elijah got to go on the zipline THREE times!  He loved it - fearless!  One rousing game of flashlight kickball, 2 hotdogs, and a bag of chips later he was ready to hit the hay in his tent with (shhh...don't tell anybody) little duck by 9:00.  But then the drizzle started. Manny put the rain cover on the tent and it seemed they would be fine. ... Until the hail and lightning arrived.  They ran for cover into the church building, where the kids got to play on the drums in the sanctuary while the dads played audience to their concert.  After waiting it out for an hour, Manny decided there would be no sleeping outside in the storm so they left the tent and drove home at 10:30. 

When they walked in the door I knew by his puffy eyes that Elijah had been crying the whole drive home.  He looked up at me with the most heartbroken expression I think I've ever seen and said, "Mom, I have something really really sad to tell you" as he choked back tears.  I went to him and knelt down, putting my arms around him.  Then he broke down.  "Our campout was cancelled!" he sobbed, big tears spilling out. 

Manny had tried to console him with promises of another camping trip next weekend, a fun guys' breakfast out the next day, and trip to the hardware store.  But it was no use.  And I understood his sadness perfectly.  There is nothing to fix that great disappointment he was feeling.  His hopes had been high and they were deflated. Make-ups just won't do in times like that.  I was so sad for the heartbrake my little boy suffered.  It might not seem like much, but this was a monumental event in his life.  I just hope that when he looks back on the experience, he remembers more about the fun they had and they adventure of running for cover in the rain and lightning in stead.

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