We just returned from our family vacation to Michigan where we stayed at the camp my college roommate runs, Camp Friedenswald.
We weren’t quite sure what to expect when we decided to go to family camp. But we knew that the cabins had AC, that the kids would get to go to kids’ camp (leaving mommy and daddy free, freeeeee!), and that we would get to spend some time with my roomie and her family. Beyond that, I didn’t really know what the week would hold for us.
Turns out, a lot.
A lot of fun. A lot of relaxation. A lot of beautiful scenery. A lot of reconnecting – with each other, with my friend, and with all those little things that tend to get swept to the side during the hustle and bustle of the year.
There were so many great moments from our week. Here are a few things I especially want to remember:
Beatrice in her new white tennis shoes -her first pair of shoes ever – walking up a storm in her wobbly, uneven-but-determined steps. (She just started walking less than a month ago!)
Yoga on the dock every day
Watching Oliver walk around the camp with his long hair and his bare feet.
Theo feeling so comfortable and confident that he tried things we never expected him to attempt. The rope swing! Getting up in front of everyone to hold song cards! Going to archery all by himself!
Oliver, standing on a little tree stump in his too-big t-shirt, holding the song cards at campfire.
Watching Theo become initiated into little boy camp culture – playing ping pong and carpet ball, rushing off to “go play with the boys” after every meal, and fully embracing the fun and freedom of being a kid at camp. (So magical to watch.)
Bea playing in the sand, trying to escape into the water.
Little boys who serve themselves at mealtime and come back with an extra piece of dessert. (stinkers)
The way the fen looked (and sounded!) at sunset.
Walks with Jenna.
Watching my husband play sand volleyball with the college age summer staff; remembering how it felt to watch him play back when we were in college, and falling in love.
Canoeing with Theo and Oliver. Theo – a nervous nelly – and Oliver – calm and oblivious -almost tipping us over with his excitement.
Canoeing alone with Mike. Loving every minute of being out on the water with my love.
Not hearing, “Can I watch TV?” all week.
Feeling unreachable to the rest of the world.
Finishing one of the best books I’ve read in some time.
Gifts of strong coffee in a to-go mug each morning from Jenna.
An evening in Jenna’s home. A glass of wine. Good conversation.
Tie dying shirts with Theo.
Singing a hymn I haven’t thought about in years, and feeling surprised by the comfort the old refrain brings.
Kids that end each day dirty, happy, and tired.
Cookouts and thoughtful kitchen staff who make you a veggie burger.
A pontoon trip with Jenna as pilot and the boys as co-pilots.
Theo with his face painted like a lion.
Campfires where Bea ate all the popcorn she could find, even the pieces covered in dirt.
Knowing that we are all capable of new things, new experiences.
Knowing that these are the special moments that become treasured memories.
Knowing that, while moments are fleeting, memories are forever.