Nick's Golden Birthday...and A Golden Moment

Yesterday was Nicholas's golden birthday, 12 on July 12. To celebrate, I rented one of the cabins at the Kankakee River State Park and let him bring his friends for an overnight party. I didn't know what to expect; I wondered whether they would quickly get bored hanging out with Nick's treehugging mom in this isolated space lacking cell phone service and digital cable.

There was never a dull moment, though.

They were fascinated with playing with fire. From lugging the largest fallen branches out of the woods to keep the fire well fed to parading around the cabin with "torches," these boys were mesmerized by every smoking, flaming aspect of the campfire. In between all the interesting things they found they could do with wood, fire, smoke, and ash, they engaged in the usual camping out activities of eating hot dogs, making s'mores, and telling jokes...

But there was a more serious moment, too, when my two sons and I were sitting together around the campfire and Nick looked over at me and said, "I think this is my best birthday ever." And so began my opportunity to focus on instilling a life lesson--to remind them that the simplest things in life bring the most happiness.

Yet as I witness sparks of a different nature taking place in the eyes of these young boys, I realize there is much to be learned from them as well. the way, is your refrigerator running?


Dave said…
Sounds like it was quite an experience for you and your son; it made me remember camping in Wisconsin as a kid, and how much joy I could get from the simple things you find in the woods. You made me want to go camping again!
Deborah said…
Yes, we enjoyed it. We are making plans now to go camping in Michigan. I bought a tent! A big one...three rooms. Nick swears he knows how to put it up. And my new prized possession is a Coleman stove...not the big honkin' green one, but a cute little blue one with a burner on one side and a grill on the other.

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