The weather for this weekend was forecast to be clear and very nice. So A. and his friend Jodi decided to take advantage of probably the last kid-appropriate weekend for camping, before it gets too cold. They were planning on just taking the older boys: Cubby, and Jodi's oldest, who is seven.
But A. couldn't leave Charlie behind. So he suggested to Jodi that they camp in the gully just about a half mile up from our house. That way, A. could bring Charlie home at bedtime, as has been his habit in the past. He also suggested that Jodi bring his younger son--who is four--with the same departure time in mind.
So yesterday around 4:30 p.m., A.--loaded down like a sherpa with Charlie in the pack and bags in either hand--headed out with Cubby and Charlie to set up camp. Jodi and his two boys arrived about an hour later and joined them. Jodi told me his younger son was going to stay up there.
At six o'clock, I did the dishes, figuring I'd better get them done before A. arrived home with Charlie in an hour or so.
At seven o'clock, it was almost totally dark and I expected A. and Charlie to show up at any minute. So I puttered around picking up random things downstairs and putting them away. (How does a hatchet end up in my dining room and a spatula in my living room? My husband and sons, respectively.)
At eight o'clock, it had been dark for some time and I was beginning to suspect that Charlie had refused to leave the party in the woods. But I waited up reading until about 8:30, by which point I was falling asleep in my chair (rough night the night before) and decided to go to bed. I fully expected that as soon as I got settled in my bed, A. would show up with a very cold and disgruntled Charlie.
He never did. It is currently 6 a.m., so it appears that Charlie has had his first overnight camping trip.
Maybe he just decided he was a winter camping kind of guy. I heard the furnace come on for the first time this year at 4:30 this morning, so you know it's not exactly tropical out in those woods. Especially down by the creek where they're camping. When I checked the weather station at 5 a.m., it read 37 degrees. Better them than me.
It's still dark, but I bet not long after first light, six very cold men--two big and four little--will be showing up at our door. And I know one of them is going to be extremely pleased with himself.
Big boy, indeed.