May 07, 2010

Bright's First Camp Out (without Mom)

Bright had been looking forward to the events of last Monday night for as long as he can probably remember.

For us it began over 6 years ago, before we saw our first pair of pink lines on an E.P.T.   Daniel and I had decided that if we ever had sons (little did we know), we would "initiate" them into boyhood with their first camp out sometime after their 5th birthday.  Friends of ours, the Newcombs, gave us the idea.  They have a similar tradition in their family.  When a boy turns five, all the uncles and grandpas and older-than-five brothers and cousins (and the dad, of course) take the little guy out into the woods.  Their initiation is a little more extreme, complete with head dresses and face paint and some other rituals which I can no longer remember, but the idea has stuck with the Rupps.

The Rupp version sends only Dad and the 5-year-old into the woods for their first camp out together.  As more and more Rupp boys get initiated, the older brothers might just have to join.  We'll see.  In any case, last Monday afternoon, Daniel and Bright went to the grocery store to stock up on camp food,

drove down into the valley (on the land that Daniel's family homesteaded 8 generations ago),

and set up camp beside the creek where Daniel swam as a kid.

I helped them pack for the night, being sure to include Bright's camo hat, as well as his Lightning McQueen headlamp and camo walkie talkies.  He was all big stuff as he strutted to the car with Dad, not even looking back.  If he had, he would have a seen a misty-eyed, 29-year-old girl who does not feel old enough to have a 5-year-old.

I will pack at least two more boys for such a trip in the years to come.  I will cry every time, I guarantee it. 

The cutest thing was when poor little Zion came thumping down the stairs in his pull-up for one more hug goodbye from his big brother.  He would sleep alone that night for the first time in his toddler life.

I didn't sleep at all.  Time, it just keeps on truckin'.