Our second oldest boy's birthday has always been a rough spot for him. By the time he was in school, the first day was usually right before his big day. That means he didn't have the benefit of summer, but got no benefit of 'it's his birthday!' since everyone was just getting settled in for the school year. As such he's developed a few sensitivities about his day. One of these is that he begs and pleads for us not to consider doing 'fall things' until after his birthday. That's fine since, like most Americans, we reckon fall not to be the Autumnal Equinox, but the day after Labor Day. So that period of time in which he is willing to say summer is over and fall has yet to begin? We call that Fall Eve. We don't do fall things, but we begin revving up for that season of seasons I've so often blogged about.
This year, of course, is 2020. And that means weirdly awful. Already the Big 10 has cancelled football, and many schools are following suit. In these parts at least, football is as tied to autumn as holly and ivy are to Christmas. Just how that will square with those old fall memories remains to be seen. It was to be the first year for our youngest to go to an OSU football game, but that will have to wait. We'll do something special for him to fill in that gap.
One way we thought out of the box was for our second oldest's birthday. Since they're all here doing online college this semester, we figured we'd come up with something odd to do to compensate for the crazy and be a little different than the usual for his big day. So we came up with camping - in our back yard!
We are not, on the whole, outdoorsy types. We enjoy getting out and walking and going to parks. We've tried camping in the past a couple times. The memories are good, but I find the experiences to be less satisfying than thinking about them later. Nonetheless, in trying to come up with something, we thought a tent, a cookout in the fire pit, and a chance for the four boys to hang together might be a nice substitute going into this sure to be stranger autumn season.
|Despite wagering to the contrary, the boys were able to put the tent up |
with little help from the parents
|The finished product, in our little backyard grotto. Not bad for their first attempt. |
|A mixture of not-healthy/healthy, as we grill eggplant|
to add to the beans and hot dogs
|I think they're watching my third oldest roughhouse with the pooch|
|The most pensive and understated of the four boys. He's had a rougher time|
in life than them, and his older three are the first to admit it
|My boys step up and help the caregiving for my Mom. All four do a great job.|
She was able to be part of this owing to them pulling resources to get her down here
|After the feasting, we took my Mom inside and watched her so the four could |
hang out together. They chose to play games: including
playing D&D by campfire and torchlight
|Waiting for the fire to flare back up again|
|The wanted us to have prayer around the campfire, so we came back out after |
the lights were down and the fire was burning bright
|As normal, our third oldest takes it upon himself to tend the fire|
|While our youngest vegges out listing to serenades from our second oldest|
|Their torchlight D&D game nearing the witching hour - what |
would those old fundamentalists we knew say?
|There's something about a campfire (even in a fire pit) heading into those|
autumn days. All in all, a fine day capped by a splendid evening