When I say that we have roles, it's a pretty simple thing. I go to work everyday (for money), I take care of the "heavy lifting" and I do the dirty stuff (bugs, compost, most of the garden work, etc.). In addition to that, I tend to be the stern voice in the house. I'm tough on my boys sometimes. I've had the world smack me around a few times and whether we like to believe it or not there's double standards out there so I tend to the firm side with them. A~ on the other hand go to work everyday as well, her work is in our home. She shuttles kids to and from school, does our budget, cleans the house and all our clothes and keeps us all fed like a band of princes. She's also the voice of moderation in the house. She tempers my hard edges, loves the boys when their scared, let's them pile on her on the couch and keeps them safe on a day to day basis. This week it's been all me and I have a renewed appreciation of how hard she works and how much she brings to the table.
But this week's reminded me of one even more important difference between us; all the time she gets to spend with the boys. In the morning, they have their tradition of listening to 101.9 on the radio. They sing the songs they all love and set a good mood for the day. After school she gets to hear about everything that happened that day fresh, before they forget half of it in their blessed childish way of living in the moment. I've been lucky enough this weekend to get to have that too.
And speaking of hearing from the boys when we pick them up from school, on Friday I picked them up and hadn't even left the parking lot when B~, the youngest, spouted out, "Dad, can we just pack up and go camping tonight? Pleeeaasseee???". To which of course the other two chimed in with "Yeah Dad, c'mon, let's just pack up and go!" Because you know of course in a child's world there's nothing to it, just grab a tent, something to eat and you're good. So what's a dad to do? Duh...I said YES. In all honesty we were planning on going up to the mountains anyway on Saturday. Grouse season has come to Utah, and we thought we'd spend a little time doing what I like to think of as "hiking with guns." So what's a little detour to spend time together, take advantage of a rare opportunity to bond and oh yeah, did I mention that the mountains we were heading up into are regularly voted as one of the best places in the western U.S. to view the fall colors?
The turnoff to our camp is about 60 miles from our house and from there we drove five or 6 miles back into public lands. We camped in an area that we've hiked and hunted a bunch of times but have never camped in and found the BEST camp site. We didn't have 4-wheelers going by all the time because it was off the road a ways and was not a through road. The tent site was cleared already of all the sticks and rock, and there was a big meadow for the boys to play in with a log pre-set to hold the "targets" (aluminum cans) for the BB guns.
We spent the night, hiked/hunted the next day (in which we got nothing), and had a great time together. Saturday we came home, cleaned up and watched a movie. And as a sign of a good time being had the boys fell asleep within minutes.
Today, I got to experience the other side of A~'s day to day as I spent most of the day washing clothes, making lunch, cleaning the kitchen and cooking a pretty tasty ratatouille for dinner. Oh yeah and by the way, I found out how to get kids to eat this heavy vegetable stew. I put about half of the ratatouille into our food processor and pureed it. I had to add a bit more salt after all the vegetables were pulverized, but they not only ate it, they had seconds. On the Harvest Keeping front, I also put up another 6 qts of beans for the winter.
It was a great weekend. We lived through it, enjoyed it, and still miss A~ terribly. No matter how capable I can be, our home's just not the same without her. Hurry home sweetie, we love you.