Friday, September 18, 2009

Finally a Family Photo

Gracie is 16 months old next week and this is the first picture we have of all five of us, unless you count the one where I'm looking like I just had major surgery. In that one I'm holding her swaddled so tight that I look like I'm holding a large cocoon. Gracie's siblings were more interested in what my hospital bed could do. I was interested in keeping them away from my incision. Eric looked good. Happy. But not like he does here.

We were at the Toutle Camp (his aunt and uncle's property near Mount St. Helens) for a week of family vacation. I think we were living one of Eric's dreams. Eric grew up going with his family all the time. He's spent Fourth of July, Labor Day, and countless weekends in the Fall during deer and elk season at this rustic, but beautiful camp. Since marriage I've joined the holiday weekend traditions, missing only a handful.

Eric has not so subtly been dropping hints since our first year of marriage about how great it would be if I joined him when he went hunting. I always looked at him, puzzled. More than once I asked, "What would I be doing while you were hunting?" The straightest answer I ever got involved hanging out in the truck while he hunted. Hmm. I never jumped on the opportunity. Once the kids came along his wishful thinking didn't fade. I no longer looked at him puzzled, I didn't even look at him when he brought it up.

He bought a trailer, for me. I think that was supposed to change everything. In some ways it did. Camping for a long weekend was tons easier, especially with the family there to help entertain the kids. I was even looking forward to spending a whole week. On the four and half hour drive in the truck pulling the trailer down there I think I might have even hinted that I was entertaining the thought of joining him on a hunting weekend.

It rained. Not the whole time, but enough. After one very rainy morning with all five of us in the trailer it changed. It's not so easy to entertain a four, three, and one year old in a trailer when Mommy is grumpy. Later that night he confessed that maybe making the hunting trips a family affair could wait until the kids are older. Maybe.

When it's sunny, it truly is the second most beautiful place in the world (the memory of Haiti's beaches will always place first for me).

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