Arriving early Saturday morning, we had a wonderful breakfast before setting up camp and spending a good portion of the day at the beach. The traditional Fourth of July Blue Hill Brass concert was excellent as always, and all drifted off to sleep with relative ease, not even bothered by the familiar call of our friend the whippoorwill. Everyone, that is, except me.
We dropped off the three teenagers at Resident Camp following breakfast, worship, and lunch on Sunday and continued enjoying all Camp Calumet has to offer. The two youngest especially enjoyed the Welcoming Campfire, a rousing game of Clue-u-met, and some serious marshmallow roasting. Excitement over their first day of camp battled the marshmallow-induced sugar crash, sleep finally winning the battle. My husband drifted off quickly as well. Me, not so much.
Monday morning dawned with two tired but giddy children who could barely wait to get to breakfast, then from breakfast to Day Camp. While Daddy took them to Camp, I enjoyed some quiet time before delving into a wonderful Celtic Christianity Bible Study. Walking with my husband back to our campsite, we discussed which of the many things we would do this day and settled on hiking Jackman Ridge, the trail basically across the way from our campsite.
Emerging from our screen tent after eating lunch, we made it as far as our camp chairs a few feet away. Once there, we came up with a new and daring plan. Something so out of the ordinary it was nearly mind-blowing. Something that went against every fiber of my grandmother-induced tendency to want to fill every moment of vacation with one exciting experience after another. We opted for a nap. In the middle of the day. With no children waking us up every 3.42 minutes to ask a question or inform us that someone is bothering them.
After our nap we discussed the possibility of going to the beach, again making it as far as our camp chairs before giving up on the idea. So we sat. After a while, I remembered I had a book with me. I read several chapters of the book in one sitting - a feat beyond anything I'd accomplished since our last camp summer a year before.
Eventually it was time to pick up the children from Day Camp. After hearing the amazing tales they had to tell about their first day, they asked us what we did. At first they failed to believe our answer of "nothing." One even said, "but didn't you have a plan?" It seems I always have a plan, especially for vacation.
'Vacation plans' took on a new meaning for me this year - one that it took me more time than it should have to comes to terms with. Pain, exhaustion, and expectations clouded my enjoyment of our first couple of child-free days. It wasn't until I relaxed into relaxing, reduced my expectations to general life-sustaining activities, and ceased comparing my top of the world Summer two years ago and my downhill but ok Summer of last year to my barely treading water Summer this year that my new vacation plans of relaxation and peace were able to bring me joy.
Funny things happened when I started actually taking a vacation ... but tales of those adventures will have to wait for another day.