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Sunday, May 30, 2010

A step toward normal

I went camping this weekend.

It's Memorial Day weekend here in the States. A long weekend. The official kick off for summer. Pools open.

Camping is a pretty traditional and normal activity for this weekend. In fact, there have been many Memorial Day weekends when I've been camping.

But this time it was special. It was a normal activity.

Amy and I have developed a sort of ritual over the years. We camp with our sons. We camp with our families. We camp with other families. But we *always* make the first and last trips of each season a moms only trip. Indeed, this has meant that we've camped in the snow, sleet, rain, and cold. Generally, we can count on cold. Over the years, the two of us have taken our five boys on many trips by ourselves. And we've, of course, gone with our husbands. And we've gone with neighbors, friends, relatives.

But the first and last have always been moms only. Generally, just the two of us.

Last year, thanks to stupid cancer, we got the first trip in, but then that was it. Between my family's brief sojourn in W. Va and her family's vacation, and then soccer tournaments and and then, diagnosis, chemo, blah blah blah....we never got our "last trip of the season in."

This past weekend, it was five women plus two evening visitors. The weather was wonderful. For the first time in forever, it neither rained nor snowed. Precipitation haunts our camping trips. It wasn't hellaciously hot. It wasn't overly windy. It. Was. Ideal.

I feel for the first time that I'm approaching that "new normal" the books and articles talk about. This was a normal activity. I didn't feel "bad" per se. While some people may not find camping relaxing, our approach is very relaxing, so I didn't so much notice the fatigue. I did go to bed "early" for a trip with Amy. About 3:00 a.m; however, I'd done nothing all day, so I really didn't feel exhausted. That hour is early for the two of us. In the past couple of years, we've had at least one night each camping weekend where we've seen the sky lighten with the morning sun.

All in all, it was a wonderful, relaxing 48 hours.

Ideal beginning to what I hope is a healing summer.

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