Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Camping extravaganza...

Curvy roads are not my favorite. Curvy dark dirt roads, surrounded by fog, with a screaming hungry and tired baby are my least favorite. Our friends the Wards invited us for a little weekend getaway to the elevation of 7,400 feet. Tent packed and clothes layered we were off to a rocky start. The higher we climbed the less of the road we were able to see, 17.5 miles from Idyllwild Chris and I squinted in the dark to spot the dirt road that was supposed to lead us another 5 miles to our final camping destination. A half hour, 5 mile climb later, we found ourselves flashlights in hand setting up our family sized tent for the first time. Setting up a condo of a tent for the first time in the dark...not recommended.

The trip continued to challenge us by throwing in a nearly freezing dirt floor with nothing but a sleeping bag and tent to keep us warm (our fault being completely under prepared). Scarlett was in her pack n play crying, but still warm above the ground and surrounded in blankets. She wouldn't sleep, wouldn't eat so I brought her in my bag and cuddled up close...very close...it was a mummy bag. With no light, no clock, nothing to suggest any sense of reality, I lay there eyes closed drifting in and out of a light sleep. I woke to rub my feet together hoping to gain a little warmth but the movement only let more cold air in, I reached over to Scarlett and quickly realized that there was no movement, no breath only a cold stiff face. I yelled to Chris to wake up, shaking my bag off and squeezing her tightly, blew in her face and kissed her lips. It was then I heard it, through the ruckus that Chris and I were creating there was a soft breath of life. She was breathing, our little girl that just seconds ago I was fearing for her life, was breathing. She was sleeping quietly, still oddly limp. Chris and I bent over her, laying her with kisses. I have never had a moment in my life when I was more thankful for the grace of God. I laid her next to me for the remainder of the night, arm draped over her chest to count the rise and fall of each breath. We laid this way for what seemed like days but I am sure was only a few hours. In these moments I felt the deepest love. A love that I know Scarlett will never understand until she has a child of her own, a love that will get me through the teenage years of "I hate you mom", a love that will bring tears to my eyes when her father is walking her down the aisle.

Needless to say the rest of the trip had nowhere to go but up. We hiked, we ate, we drove to a new, lower altitude and much warmer campsite, we laughed, we shared and we watched the girls play together in the dirt. It was a successful first family camping trip with a few bumps along the way, memories that will last and stories that we will share for years to come.

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