31 May 2011

Family Camp

"We would never expect a monkey to act like a butterfly or a buffalo to behave like a mouse.  Why then is it so hard for us to trust God with the design of our children and allow them to be who God made them to be?"

We experienced our first family camp this Memorial Day weekend, spending it with two hundred or so other families, none we knew, only a few we'd ever seen before.

It was put on by Young Life staff and proved to be extremely funny.  We laughed a lot.

The weekend definitely highlighted our children's very different personalities...

The youngest at two.  He's ready to do whatever everyone else is (unless that's eating dinner, in which he would rather scream and make it impossible to peacefully chew my food), and continues his obsession with animals.  He was not at all afraid to get on this big horse.

Love the hands in the pockets.  He worked hard for that.

The true princess.  Her favorite part of the weekend was "wearing my purple skirt, and my blue skirt, and my pink jacket, oh, and the horsey ride."  Not kidding.  At the horse rides they looked at me questioningly, is she going to wear that to ride in?  Yes, I confidently and nonchalantly answered.  It's who she is and I'll rejoice in it.

If anyone thought you couldn't ride horses or climb rock walls in a purple tutu and many bows in one's hair, they. were. wrong.

This one's for you, Aunt Alexa the rock climber and Aunt Heidi the tutu giver
Then the middle child, contrary and sure not gonna do something if you say he has to.  He sat out on every relay game but truly enjoyed his cotton candy.  He wasn't for anything going to ride the horse.  I signed him up anyway. 

Turns out he thought they were going to let him loose on the horse to ride around all the hills.  Once he saw they were bridled in a corral with someone leading them, the risk seemed much smaller.

Had to get the big gap shot.  His front teeth are starting to come in.

Then the eight year-old.  He liked the competition and followed the skits.  He found many creatures and wished he could find some pronghorn.  He mourned not finding any.  When he was not playing Labrador Retriever checking out every bush, rock, hill and shore he could find, he was listening attentively to what was going on around him.

And then the oldest.  He was independent and connected with the others we came with quickly.  Made friends with other kids and basked in all the social activities going on.  Here he is in a rare instance:

We are so thankful for the time together as a family this weekend and for the friends who invited us and made it possible for us to attend.  We are also thankful to God Who always abundantly meets our needs and much, much more.

Lastly, as Brian and I debriefed the weekend last night, we laughed ourselves to sleep.  I was telling him of a comment one of the children made during a skit.  Three "cowboys" with scooters and stick ponies attached to them were lip syncing to Wilson Phillips "Hold On"  (I know that there is pain, but you hold on for one more day, and you break free from the chains.)

The child leaned over to me as they were dramatically dancing to it in synchronized fashion, "Mommy, are they really singing?", asked in earnest.

Precious lives, still forming.  I want to affirm them in who they are and be patient in the growth process.

photos: family camp this past weekend,  text: Sally Clarkson's Mission of Motherhood, p. 130