Campout, 2019


The sweetest thing happened last night and I just had to capture it so when I am looking back I can remember it.

This past week Nia and I were looking at old pics and we saw pics of us doing campout.  For those of you who have not been around long enough to remember how we do campouts, I first posted about it back in 2007 here.  It started when Nia was 4, Josiah was an infant, and Nico was fresh home from Haiti.  We started having these nights where we would "campout" in the living room.  It involves Nick hauling our mattress downstairs so the grownups can get a comfy night sleep.  And then we let the kids hunger games it out for who gets the couch (always Nia) and then the red chair, (usually Nico).  The other two end up in sleeping bags on the hardwoods. (Sorry Josiah and Sam.  You're young.  You will recover). This is what the Mangines call camping.  And it works for us. And it was kind of a thing.  Almost weekly for a season.

There are also really fun rules to Mangine campouts.  And here they are:
-no talking
-no singing
-no whispering
-no laughing
-no making any noise
-no standing
-no sitting
-no kneeling
-no kicking your feet all around
-no touching anything

Here is what you CAN do during camp out-- 
-Lie quietly in your bed and go to sleep.
OR, if you can't get to sleep--
-Lie still (quietly) until morning

Listen, I hate real camping.  It's just a lot of work to get everyone to a place and set it all up so you can sleep outside in a little fabric house.  Like, why is this a thing?  We have houses.  We have beds.  We have electricity and climate control. It's like purposeful backwards evolution.  Next thing you know people will be wanting to skip things like vaccines and we'll have a measles outbreak in every state... wait... oh right.  (But I digress).  Plus you're just out in the open for wild animals to enjoy as a snack (and believe me, I am a SNACK).  And then don't get me started on bandits.  People, if I was a bandit, I would just rob people in fabric houses.  All I would need to bring is a pair of scissors and then all the camper's possessions could be mine. (Consider this your warning).

So after seeing our old pics of campout, Nia was like, "We need to have a campout again."  (It's been years)!  And so after we got home from date night last night, Nia was like, "Are we having campout tonight?"  And we were like, "What the heck?"

And Nick carried down our mattress, and the kids jockeyed for position (although it went exactly as it always does). Sleeping bags and fans were fetched because my children are fan addicts-- a carryover from their Haiti days. And we put on Nick and my favorite old movie (Return to Me) and as we were watching it, Nico crawled onto our mattress and shimmied in between Nick and me and just snuggled us throughout the movie. (Insert misty eyes here.)

And it was like our babies were all babies again.  And then the movie was over, and we all fell asleep, and now it's the morning.  It was such a cozy feeling to wake up to and just the ultimate reminder that I have all that I need.

Don't be that jealous, the kids will be awake again soon and giving me reasons to yell at them before long.

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