Monday, October 7, 2013

Golden moments

Every once in a while, my husband and I forget the endless possibilities of how things can go horribly wrong, and we decide we’re going to plan a Cameron Family Fun Day, much in the same spirit as Clark Griswold packed up the family truckster and traveled across the country in Vacation.

This past Saturday was a Cameron Family Fun Day.

We had loosely planned our annual trip to Knollbrook Farm, about an hour away from our home. The place is great, with not only a you-pick pumpkin patch, but pumpkin gourd catapults, cows, goats, a huge slide, corn maze, hayrides, mums, decorations, games… if it has to do with fall fun, they have it. It wasn’t until we were leaving Bobby’s flag football game that Jeff announced we were heading up there right that minute. The rest of the kids were a little unprepared for a road trip, but everyone settled down and stopped grumbling in a short amount of time. I took issue with the fact that there was grumbling in the first place, because seriously… the boys get to hang out with friends pretty much whenever they want, and don’t usually miss out on anything unless one, or both,… or all three are grounded. I tried to explain that I didn’t think spending a few hours with family would be the end of the world as they knew it. They argued to the contrary. Whatever. To pass the time I offered a round of The Alphabet Game, and Sam was the only taker. We made our way through small town after small town calling out words and advancing through the alphabet.

About 30 seconds after we arrived at Knollbrook, we were reminded that they took neither credit/debit cards, nor checks. We had admission covered, but Jeff and Tyler drove to the nearest ATM, about five minutes away, for funds to actually purchase all our pumpkin goods. During that time, the kids and I checked out some of the games – until the rain began. Luckily there’s a covered shelter, so we hung out in there and watched a torrential downpour pelt all the other poor families who had to run in from the pumpkin field. When Jeff and Tyler returned, the super nice family who owns Knollbrook offered either a full refund of our admission, or the option to head into town, eat lunch and come back when the rain stopped. We chose the latter. In an amazing turn of luck, the kids actually sat through lunch without as much as a crossed eye or partial disagreement. It was so much fun and restored my faith in the humanity of our family. We actually *could* function normally in public! No fighting! No yelling! It was downright harmonious, and there was [dare I say it?] laughter.

We returned to Knollbrook and proceeded to enjoy the rest of the afternoon. We trudged through the muddy pumpkin field and everyone chose their favorite pumpkin. We returned home around 7pm, weary, muddy and a little sweaty… but our mission was accomplished.

I know the boys – at 14, 14 and 11 – don’t always see the value of spending “family time” together, but I hope by force-feeding continuing our annual family outings, a true desire and appreciation for their family will grow in their hearts. I think that Tyler (21) and Kate (19) have officially reached the age at which they understand the importance of family and are willing to put up with the others’ shenanigans for the cause. We are far from a perfect family – there are spats, arguing and punishments doled out daily, if not on the hour. But despite our knack for spinning out of control, we somehow manage to pull ourselves together on occasion and make it work. It’s those “make it work” times that shine like gold in my memory bank.

In other news, I am looking forward to Week 4 of the Living & Active Challenge. Last week was a bit shaky, but I have renewed my resolve – and optimism – that I can get back on track. I shared my optimism with Buddy-dog this morning on a quick run. He seemed on board too, but that was probably just because it’s also his chance to get out early and poop. Whatever works. His unconditional love and happy tail-wagging is incentive enough to get out of bed at 5:20a on a chilly autumn morning.

1 comment:

Clare said...

Love it. Hang in there sister!