Can I just say to all those mom’s out there that are outdoorsy and all ‘go team’, you are a better mom than I am.
Anywho, my husband thought it would be a great idea to enroll the youngest (The Little) in scouts. I’m certainly not against this; boys need to know various things that are taught in scouts and it would give the two of them bonding time and all that jazz. Male camaraderie, if you will.
The husband is an EMT (finally) so he works 24/48 shifts. He signed The Little up last Thursday, and boy was he excited. It was really sweet, actually. Last night was their first meeting. Naturally, Mr. EMT was working his 24 so I needed to take The Little to the meeting and do the introductions and whatnot. Sounds harmless, right? I had enough time after the office to go home, cook dinner (chicken with white wine mushroom sauce – does that sound like I am outdoorsy to you?), and forget to grab a pair of flip-flops to replace the 3-inch heels. We arrive and there are tons of kids and dads with a few moms, but mostly dads. Some kids in uniform with ribbons that match that of a soldier in his twentieth year of service and others in civilian clothes like my poor Little.
There were 3 or 4 grown men in these uniforms as well. I looked for them to guide me as to what den(?) my son would be in. None of them knew. He was either a boar, bear, webble, fox, or a smattering of other animals. I couldn’t quite follow as he lost me after something called a weeble-o. What the hell kind of animal is that? Clearly, I was not the right man for this job. After a scout chant, a prayer, and some kind of hand gesture, we move to a circle. Now, in my mind I think of campfires, smores, singing, rules, or something of the sort. HA! No, that’s not what these uniformed overgrown kids pretending to be adults had in mind at all!
Burly Man: “Parents! You are to follow your scout and their leaders down the trail behind us”
My mind: Wait, trail behind you? You mean that overgrown forest with no wooden path? And follow where exactly, to the end of my existence cause I’m in heels mister…
Squirrelly Man: (in a much smaller voice) “Ok scouts, grab the kid next to you, hold his hand and then raise your hands above your head! That’s right, boys! This is your buddy. Where he goes, you go. Mmmmkkkkk? Alright, let’s go!”
My mind: Where’s my buddy – don’t I need a buddy? Does that kid attached to The Little look shady? What if he heads off a cliff or something? That seems a bit too vague of a statement, sir.
After hiking on the ‘trail’ and learning all about deer poop, scrubbing of antlers on trees, berries that would probably be the same ones that almost killed Katniss in Hunger Games, and white dots on trees that mark your way – we end up in this enormous field. There’s an erect tent in the middle and several bags alongside of the tent. My feeble, indoorsy, HGTV mind didn’t grasp what was happening.
Burly Man: “OK Parents, grab your scout and head to a bag, we’re learning the proper handling of tents, pitching them, and putting them away”
My mind: We’re what? Are you seriously telling me this little bag holds that big ‘ol tent in it? Orange is not a good color, btw, it will surely attract bears.
I look around and see one of those soldier-type kids and I’m all like, “Pssst, hey kid, you look like you’ve been here a while.” The kid looks exasperated at me already, “Yeah, I’m a what-ever-animal-is best, do you need help with this?” and then he laughs. He actually laughs at me. Poor Little had already started to unpack the tent bag and was well on his way. I’ve heard rumors that our family owned a tent, I suppose he and his father have worked on this before.
All ended well, our tent was set up and then put back and we hiked our way back to ‘base’. I was sweating and panting profusely, pretty sure at least twelve blisters, and about four thousand mosquito bites, I was spent. They offered a Gatorade, I declined as I was disappointed no one handed me an Absolute and soda for my efforts.
I had hoped for a quiet, normal school year when the children went back, but it looks like normalcy will involve sweating in places one ought not to sweat, bug spray, the purchase of hiking boots, and
flasks canteens. Go Team!
This is my writing prompt submission for Studio Thirty Plus