Last weekend Ed & I picked up a tradition we left in the Northwest: camping with our good friends, Alicia & Brian. The last time we camped was at Lopez Island in 2003. There was a burn ban and we had to roast our marshmellows over charcoal briquettes. On the bright side (literally), we were "forced" to find something else to stare at and spent a few hours star gazing, counting shooting stars & satellites in the sky and marveling at the milky way. It was glorious.
This year we headed to Larrabee State Park in Bellingham, a favorite spot. This year we also had children in tow. Jack, 3. Noah, 2. Balin, 3 months. Like Lopez, adjustments had to be made. Jack slept in between two very sober parents and Noah and Balin actually split his parents into two tents. But, the boys played hard together. Balin, all of a few months old, barely made a peep and the joke around the campfire was that he actually wasn't there. Jack, who stayed up with all of us until we went to bed, and Noah, whose energy and knack for getting into pretty much everything made Jack look somewhat LAZY, kept all of us acutely aware of his proximity to the campfire.
I realized about mid-way through Saturday that the most wonderful thing about the trip, other than getting to know our friends' children and having the time to just hang out, was that this was a tradition that we can keep up for years. YEARS. Because we're not moving across the country anytime soon, or ever. Can you imagine? Staying in the same place? This is a reality I'm starting to get used to.