Lately, nothing has gone according to plan around here. Last week, my husband was supposed to leave for campmeeting pitch Monday afternoon, and actually he did…but I called him back home (he hadn’t even arrived for his supper yet) to tell him I was taking myself to the hospital because of less than ideal pregnancy symptoms I was having. Thankfully, we have kind people in our community, and our good friends took Baby Guy on short notice (and without complaint) so I could go get checked out before the mister drove all the way back home.
Here I must interrupt myself to relate the sad reality of motherhood vs. fatherhood (in my house at least). When my husband had said his goodbyes to Baby Guy and I earlier that afternoon-he was planning to be away for a couple of nights-our son clung to him as if to be left alone with his mother was the most horrifying and tragic thing that could be perpetrated against him. Weeping. Wailing. Gnashing of teeth. “Sad! Miss daddy!” he sobs. Fast forward two hours and I’m dropping him off with our friends (who are lovely people by the way, but who are not his mother), and he refuses to shed one tear and doesn’t even look back at me as he holds their hands and walks willingly away from me. Really?!
Anyway, everything is fine with baby-boy-to-be (and me), so I came home and we commenced preparations for campmeeting. Of course because my husband had missed so much campmeeting prep by this time we decided we’d all go together so he wouldn’t have to come back and get us. That meant that I’d be heading out a couple of days earlier than expected, and we’d be spending 11 consecutive nights in our tent.
Well, we’re 4 nights into it and I think there’s been a thunderstorm in every one of those, so far. I like camping just as much as the next girl (possibly more), but rain and camping are not my favorite combo. Yes, the pitter pat of raindrops on the tent do make for a nice sleep situation, but torrential downpours with deafening thunder and wind that periodically flattens the tent walls into your face do not. Also, please keep in mind that I am a giant pregnant lady, deep into the second trimester. My choices are dehydration or middle-of-the-night bathroom visits. The bathroom is approximately a billion feet from our tent, so the (much closer) outhouse is a necessity in these dire times. So far I have managed to only make these wee hour trips between downpours, but with 7 nights to go, time is not on my side.
Our trusty tent does keep us dry, though, as long as we stay inside, so when we woke up this morning and the rain had stopped we became foolishly reckless. We chose to make breakfast outside. Pancakes with strawberries for Father’s Day! Here I’m just going to breeze by the awful truth that my husband made his own (as well as the rest of our) pancakes. They were delicious and we enjoyed them in spite of the sprinkles starting. However, by the time I’d begun gathering the dishes to wash, things were taking a turn. The rain was incredible and the wind was crazy.
In no time, my right pant leg was soaked and my left was beginning to follow suit. My husband was drenched and it was all we could do to keep our little boy from getting soaked too. I decided to go for the van, which we’d parked away from our campsite just in case we’d needed to leave the grounds on Sabbath. As I was walking the short distance down the road, a car came barreling through the huge puddle I was slogging through and left me dripping with mud all the way down my left side. I will admit to feeling some road rage as the car continued on its merry way without a look back. I wallowed in my misery as only a persecuted noticeably pregnant woman in a bright red raincoat (read highly visible to oncoming traffic) could.
I drove up to the campsite where my husband buckled the boy in, grabbed the ever present potty bag, and hopped in the passenger seat. We escaped to a nearby Target, wherein mama got a brand new pair of maternity pants (and the dressing room attendant wrote me a note to give the cashier, explaining that I’d be wearing the new pants out of the store because my “original pants were wet.” I had a brief internal struggle with the ignominy of that incomplete and suggestive phrasing, but I let it go.
Now dry and itching to celebrate, we headed to the grocery store to buy lunch fixings for our son, having neglected to bring any of his food with us when we made our break for it. Then, after a little walk around town we went out for some Chinese food, which I passed off as the Father’s Day gift for my man (since I’d gone to the hospital instead of shopping for Father’s Day while he was gone).
If you ignore the fact that we came home to a mudpit and a wind that kept blowing our tent vestibule and cooking shelter down, it was a very nice day.
My husband says he had a great Father’s Day, and I have to believe him, even though it was terrible in so many ways. I had a wonderful time with our little family this morning, and what makes my husband such a great dad is that he just loves spending time with our little boy, even if it means entertaining him in Target while I try on pants or carrying Baby Guy in one arm and pounding tent stakes down with the other because he’s too much of a softy to ignore the plaintive “hold you!” demands of our son.
I’m blessed to have married a great dad. Happy Father’s Day to my little boy’s hero. We love you, Mister! Maybe next year we’ll get you a gift.