Seasons in the sunset - A seventy (+3) year old looks ahead and back

Seasons in the sunset - A 70 (+8) year old
looks ahead and back

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Camping with Emma

Emma was six years old when her mommy, on a whim, bought a tent at Target.

I told Emma that we could “camp out” some night if she wanted to.

“OK,” she said.

A few days later I pitched the tent in the yard, eight steps off the back porch. Emma said she wanted to bring some of her puzzles, then some of her books, which we did.

Inside the tent, as darkness fell, I read the book, "Dora the Explorer", propping up a flashlight and shining it toward the pages which I noticed were fabric (prevent ripping) , and stitched on the edges. Emma crawled into the sleeping bag as I read.

Lying on her back, head peeping out, she looked over at me. “I can’t go camping with you tomorrow,” she said, apologetically.

I said, “OK.”

“Cause I have to sleep over at Grammy’s for forty days,” she added.

OK, I thought, I won't plan on tomorrow, which likely was Emma's point.

“If we are camping, we need some marshmallows, and wood,” she continued.

I explained that the stores were closed. I heard a sweet tiny whine leave her throat.

“The next time, we camp we’ll get some,” I said. This brought another whine, a little louder, but still sweet.

Emma fiddled with her books, as if lost in thought. She asked me to take the berets out of her hair. I did this and she seemed to be getting sleepy. This is it I thought as I gently unfastened the berets. After all, we were "sleeping in the tent," so was that not the ultimate goal?

Then she said, “You know, poppa, camping is not so much fun if you miss your mommy.”

I looked at her, she at me. “Do you want to go in and see mommy?” I said.

“I don’t want Eddie and Johnny to see me talking to mommy.”

“Why is that?”

“Because they’ll laugh at me.”

We went inside and I told her mommy that Emma wanted to speak with her alone.

After talking to her mommy, I took Emma up to her room, sat on the bed with her. I sang some songs like I used to do with Brett and Ashley. “Golden Slumbers” and “Summertime” were my favorite bedtime songs to my children. The songs seemed to make Emma sleepy.

“Poppa?” Emma said.

“What?”

“When are you going to go downstairs?”

“Are you sleepy,” I said.

“Uh huh.”

I kissed her goodnight.

The camping trip was officially completed. But that small experience is one of the most beautiful and memorable things I have ever done.














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