Yesterday we were enjoying a peaceful family day. Pat and I were pulling the carpet out of the boys’ room while the children played on the Wii. Everything was so relaxed and peaceful.
When Pat and I finished our project I sent the children all outside to play, while I took my turn on the Wii (ahhhh, Mommy power). Anyway, Aubrey eventually came back in and we enjoyed a little competitive Wii Fit Plus together. During one of her attempts to beat me, heeheehee, I happened to glance out the window to see the brothers having a great time running, jumping, shooting, and sword playing on our playground, then jumping, falling, and dodging imaginary foes on the trampoline, all to defend our home from vicious Orcs or other such invaders. They looked so happy out there that a crazy idea that had been laying dormant since we acquired our playground, slipped out my mouth. ”Hey, would you all like to sleep outside on the playground tonight with me?” ?!?!? What was I thinking? Sure it was a warm beautiful day, but overnight? There are many hours of the night; it could get very cold, it could rain… it could be beautiful. Needless to say my boys went wooohoooing and Aubrey carefully planned what we would need in case…
Although it took me a little longer to be ready to brave the rapidly cooling night then I had intended, I was finally ready. With determination, armed with books, flashlights, pillows, blankets, sleepingbags, Twig (Aubrey’s chihuahua), and children nestled into feety PJs, we were off to the back yard.
The begining is always NOT what I want it to be. It involves me being mean to the children because I want to set things up “just right” while they are left to sit quietly on the sidelines. When will I learn to relax and just let them help? Anyway, I did get us all settled in our spots sandwiched close together. (Originally Aubrey was going to sleep on the uppermost platform and Joshua on the lowest most one with Max and I comfortably on the middle one; however, a friend, who actually paid attention to the weather, warned me it was expected to dip below 35°). I will admit this is when it was brought to my attention that it is time to invest in new sleeping bags. The ones we have and have had for 20 years only zip up half way. :-( Poor Aubrey, being the oldest, I put her on one end and me on the other so that we could ensure that the boys stayed warm all night. Aubrey and I would be somewhat more aware of the steady dip in the temperature.
As I said, we were finally all snuggled in, we had said our family prayers, and I was about to begin reading when the inevitable, “oh no mom, I forgot my water and I am soooo thirsty” began. Aubrey volunteered to run back into the house(I have always suspected that the Lord sent me one of His angels instead of a regular baby girl) . OK, now everyone was back, snuggled in, and I began reading our current book, The Hobbit. Joshua was spellbound, listening to every word, and asking the sweetest questions. Aubrey, a huge Tolkien fan, lay silently, enjoying hearing the story again, even after having read it to herself several times since she last heard me read it to her when she was 5. Max, on the other hand, was out cold within just a few paragraphs. It was a marvolous adventure!!!
Considering the cold and the poor sleeping bags, it was really a very nice night. The sky was clear, the stars were bright, the air crisp. With the exception of our cat trying to scare me to death by playing inside the tunnel-slide I fell asleep very peacefully. Although I did, as usual, wake up several times, the boys were warm and toasty and even Aubrey seemed reasonably toasty. It was an awesome thing to see the morning fog covering everything. Joshua commented that it was neat to be in the fog not just looking at it out in the pasture through the window. The only negative was with the fog came a very cold thick layer of dew. So much dew, infact, that the boys were convinced it had rained. Sometime after Pat had left for work (he had opted to sleep indoors, 1 because he had to work today and 2 because, well, I am the adventurer in the family) we all got up put on our shoes and shivered to the house.
Once inside, I was again inspired, so I ran back out, grabbed some wood, and started a beautiful fire. Having grown up in south South Florida I never tire of our fireplace. It was such a wonderful way to start our day that I am actually considering a repeat for tonight or as soon as I can afford a quick trip to Walmart for a new sleeping bags.
Here are a few pictures of our adventure in the Orc infested, wild, beautiful, peaceful, and well guarded (thank you Marcus) Webster yard.