Breakfast was French toast, sausage links, cereal, cut-up fruit and muffins. I love camping when someone else takes care of the food. I think I would enjoy cooking over a campfire, but as I’m still getting acclimating to this whole “camping” thing, I am so grateful for trip organizers.
Kyle spent the morning playing spoons and airsoft. I told him we’d go kayaking a little later so that he could play awhile in the morning. That’s when he told me his swimsuit was wet and had moss on it. He had gone down to his “secret spot” at the river that he and Cole had found last year with some of the other boys and dads (I had been too worn out with my knee issues after setting up the tent to go along). When he came back, he had apparently left his swim trunks in a ball inside the tent rather than hanging them out to dry. It was fascinating to me how that boy discards clothes when he’s changing. I imagine his body motions being similar to that of someone at a rave for all the random places I find his socks inside the tent. He barely remembers to get his shoes off before entering the tent. It’s a good stretch for an “everything in its place” type of person like me. I’m so glad I’m at a place in life when I can handle this and roll with the punches a little better. The 22-year-old me would have been an overbearing micro-manager to a kid like Kyle. I’m amazed at what situations I’ve been able to just let go on.
By some miracle, his shorts weren’t stinking, and they were just barely damp, so we were good to go after all. I had heard that the Wishon Lake water levels were low, but that Courtright Lake might be a better spot for the day. It was beautiful. Kyle wasn’t thrilled about the work to set up and inflate the kayak, but he did it. I think he enjoyed kayaking, he just wanted to be back playing airsoft, but I figured it was good to get him away from firearms for a little while. He was almost no help paddling, and almost tipped us several times by dipping the paddle too far into the water, but his technique improved over the afternoon.
We paddled around and then pulled over to a different shore for a water and snack break. We talked to a couple people hanging out nearby. Then we got back in the kayak and paddled all the way across the lake to this huge rock near the opposite edge. It was probably 40 feet tall and I wondered about the potential for rock jumping from it. Not something we would do today, but a thought for the future.
We started out with me in front and him in back. After our break, I switched spots with him. Then when he complained, I’d splash him with a little lake water. After two or three times, he quit complaining.
We got back to the dock and carried the kayak to the car to clean it out and deflate it. Then we headed back to the camp, eating our lunch on the way. He had been in such a hurry for the next airsoft war that he refused to look at the lunch fixings to tell me what he wanted, so I got him to agree to eat whatever I brought without complaining. I made three completely different sandwiches that I would eat so that I’d have two I liked and a reasonable chance of him liking one of them. He wanted PB&J, so that left a turkey/mustard and a roast beef/mustard for me. When we got back, he bounded out of the car and I loaded him with stuff to carry before he ran off, which the explicit instructions to hang up the wet towels.
Okay, this has been lingering for awhile unfinished, so in the interest of finishing this off quickly, here are the highlights of the remainder of the trip:
Kyle didn’t hang up the towels as instructed, and later ran off to his secret spot in spite of my instruction for him to wait for me. Because of the repeated disobedience/not-listening, I laid down the law for no airsoft for the rest of the night. He still pushed the envelope, and ended up being limited to staying by my side the rest of the evening. He was bummed, but I knew he needed consistency in discipline more than he needed fun. It was a rough evening for us both. When I sent him to bed, I went and talked to him to clarify the distinctions between the discipline over disobedience being out of my love for him, and desiring him to grow up and obey Christ. I tried to just say it succinctly and not drag out the point. Then I prayed with him, and he went to sleep. Todd and I played cards for a little while that evening, and a couple more guys joined us for awhile.
The next morning, Kyle was permitted to play airsoft again. I made him pack and intermittently help with tear-down, but tried to give him ample time to play. We stayed longer than I planned, but oh well. I had more time to talk with the other dads and he had more time to play. On the way down, he got a little car sick. This guy is amazing. He vomited in a bag and then softly announced that he had thrown up. I had no mess in my car to clean up, no screams or sudden scares coming from the backseat or anything. So I pulled over, hydrated him, got him to walk around and breathe deeply. He even commented that he thought this was the same place he got carsick last year on the way down. When he was ready, we got back on the road. Thankfully he passed out pretty quickly so I didn’t have to continue taking the turns as gently all the way home. He slept all the way home.