...a couple of hours makes.
Last night was our neighborhood's ice cream social down at the Lake. Immediately following was the camp out. Four and LuLu had such a great time. Its awesome b/c Four is getting to age where he and his friends can run around on the beach and surrounding lawn and entertain themselves (with a watchful yet distant eye*). Four and I stayed for the camp out, and he couldn't have been more excited -- this was his first camp out. We set up our tent in the small tent city of about ten tents. Later in the evening we roasted marshmellows and the kids again ran around entertaining themselves with flashlights and walkie-talkies. Around 10:30 -- way past normal bedtime -- he decided to get into his pajamas, despite the fact that many of his friends were still running around. I was impressed by the decision. After one round of goodnights to all his pals, we were back in the tent where we stayed until around 7:30 this morning. I was nervous that we might be making the trip up the hill in the middle of the night, but he did great. A few times, he wanted to hop out of his fleece bag and into my mummy bag, which was fine. Crowded, but fine. I figure it will be soon enough that the little bugger won't want to snuggle with his dad. He did wake up around 5:30 and said to me, "Dad, you hear the birds? That means its time to get up?" Somehow I convinced that we needn't get up with the birds. Around 7:30 we heard some of the other kids racing around outside our tent and went out to join them.
One by one, different families whose spouses (mostly the moms) had not camped out showed up with pitchers of coffee, raw eggs, onions, bagels, bread, etc. Our recently donated gas grill got quite a test as breakfast was prepared for 20-plus hungry campers. It was awesome. What a sense of community. This is not the first time such impromptu gatherings have sprung up, and Monica and I are continuously thankful for having moved into such a great community.
* thanks to Catherine Seipp for forcing me to be extra vigilant and precise about what I write. Feels like I'm sensoring myself lest my words, if not perfect, might end up being used to denounce dads everywhere.