Happy Hand Campers, Part 1

Last weekend, we experienced "Hand Camp" for the first time.
We loaded the car up on Friday afternoon and headed several hours away to the Middle of Nowhere in the middle of Texas.

My heart paused in my throat when I saw the t-shirts and the name badges with a typical handprint on them.  Admittedly, R & I both felt it was a little odd that the camp logo would be a typical handprint when the purpose of hand camp was to celebrate those with hand differences.
Once I had a child with hand and feet differences, I quit buying those little baby gift sacks or cards with hand and foot prints on them.  I don't know why.  I suppose I should get over that but I think I so desperately want Will to know that I love his hand and foot prints so I just avoid items that display the "typical" print.  I'm probably overhthinking & being too sensitive here - the shirts probably didn't bother anyone else... it just seemed a little odd to R & I in light of the entire purpose of the camp.

But it didn't phase Will & he was SO SO SO EXCITED to get to camp & meet other kiddos with hand differences. 
We were in a cabin with two other families- both with little boys age 5 -8 who have hand differences.  
Siblings were allowed to attend so naturally I took Ellie.  A friend in Dallas had offered to keep her but she is still nursing and I didn't want to risk that relationship, I couldn't stand the thought of being away from her two weekends in a row, & Dallas was way out of the way of our route.
So we took her.

The first night did not go so well.  I wasn't about to infringe on the camper's experience so I didn't force lights out early.  Activities went late and even though Ellie and I went back to the cabin early (at 9) to get her ready for bed, the campers didn't return til much later and lights stayed on til 10:30!  Perhaps it was the extra extra late bedtime or perhaps it was the heat in the cabin or maybe it was the fact that her pack n play was jammed between R & I.  Maybe it was the new environment or the pitch black in the cabin.
I don't know.
But.  At 1:30am, she was awake.  And crying and not content to go back in her pack n play or to sleep in my bed and I couldn't just let her cry and disturb everyone else (more than we already were.)  
So we escaped outside.
I figured she would fall asleep under the moon in my arms and then I could sneak back in to put her down.
I figured wrong.
She did fall asleep & the moon and stars were absolutely beautiful.
But everytime I moved towards the cabin, she awoke and cried.
I only had my flip flops and phone.  I was in a t-shirt & Ellie was in her pjs- no blanket.  There was a hard bench which I sat on for awhile but that wasn't too comfy.
I considered trying to use the light of my phone to find the dining hall (where there were at least chairs with backs) but I wasn't sure how to get there in the dark and was afraid of getting lost and with my flip flops, I was afraid of finding a snake.
I also worried that if I found the dining hall, what if I set off an alarm & woke the entire camp?
So, I hung out near our cabin.  
Eventually, I realized that I was not going to get to go back inside.
So I texted my husband.
I had been outside since 1:30am at this point:
(notice the increasing sense of desperation in each text)

At 3:45, I finally got it through my thick, tired brain that he was not checking his phone.
Apparently the fact that his wife and daughter had disappeared into the wilderness did not concern him at all.

The wind was so cold that I was afraid to stand there too much longer with Ellie.  And I was exhausted.
And near tears.
So I snuck back in.  As soon as that squeaky door opened, Ellie awoke and began to cry.
I quickly moved all the way down the cabin to the very end where R was.  I woke him & showed him the texts in the hopes that I could avoid making more noise & that he could read what I needed (car keys, flashlight, & blanket) & bring those items to me outside.  My goal was to be in and out quickly & not spend time rummaging for my stuff while Ellie cried.
He read the messages.
I left.
And it was nearly ten minutes before I heard from him.
When I got the text that he was coming, my heart soared.  Sleep had never sounded so good.

He braved the wilderness & carried his sleeping daughter & a backpack to a far away field at 4am to sleep in the back of the car.

It was a rough way to start camp.

Super Daddy & Ellie:
survivors of sleeping in the back of a minivan

I promise it got better. Much better.
We really did end up being happy hand campers!
Stay tuned for part 2.

1 thoughts:

ywilbur said...

One night at camp no limits JK threw a major fit because I didn't sign him up properly for the talent show and he didn't get to do his song. The lights died and he was crushed. Everyone then went to a dance and we sat around outside freezing and sobbing. My older boy was in the dance. Finally JK passed out but there was a huge hill and it was pitch dark. My older son had used a suitcase in his act so I put JK on top...leaning against handle and pushed the suitcase up hill, hoping desperately the golf cart drivers would come my way. No such luck. It too my 2 hours to get up the hill and just as got to the building hit curb and went sprauling. I was so tired but JK was up then until 3 am! At least we had a private room though and I did manage to get to sleep.

I had a great time at camp no limits but that one day..ugh. Well also JK was just really hyper which is so rare but there I didnt have a moments peace to sit and hobnob with people.

Glad to hear it gets better!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...