Friday, May 27th Part I
It was either the dumbest thing I'd ever done, or the bravest.
I had signed us up to go camping with my girls' newfound group of friends from Sarabande, a reasonably priced, not-at-all snooty horseback riding school.
The operative word here is camping. I had never been camping.
Two crucial family members would be absent: my oldest son with years of Boy Scout skills under his belt - including camping. He is thirteen, full of teenage angst and feels everything his siblings say, do, or even think is embarassing. The younger siblings, tired of his eye-rolls when they did anything silly, were perfectly happy to go without "Squidward". It was my husband's absence we all quietly worried about.
I am fortunate to have a husband with the patience of Job. With our family, he needs it. But, sadly, he had to work Sundays so weekend trips of any sort are virtually out of the question. "Job" also had the camping experience from going with Squidward. He also posessed the required tent assembly skills that I lacked. He patiently tutored me through the process while my youngest daughter videotaped on my iPhone in the event I couldn't figure it out. My youngest, "Blondinchka" narrated, explaining what she thought I was doing and noting how different it was from what Job explained. Later, she turned the camera on herself and said matter-of-factly "we're going to die."
My younger daughter, Blondie and her older sister, "The horse whisperer" took lessons at Sarabande most Saturdays, and we were meeting up with a group of other barn moms and their daughters similarly obsessed with horses. I had tried for months to get my youngest son to go, as he loves animals. I think horses are too big for him. He likes animals he can hold. The only way I could persuade him to go camping with us was to tell him about the pond at the campsite that had frogs in it. "Frogboy" was game. And so, together, the four of us, completely inexperienced campers drove north toward Prescott, the car groaning under the weight of every camping accoutrement we could think of.