Thursday, July 19, 2012

It's not always fun to be right.

From my earlier posts, you know that my husband is a fearless, "Sure, why not" kind of guy, while I am more of a, "Gosh, I don't know" sort of girl. This helps to balance our relationship, but it also causes a lot of strife. A few weeks ago, our friend Alex organized a little camping trip with some other parents and kids and invited us to go along. That's right. Camping. Outside. In a tent. With a two-year-old. Don't get me wrong. I love to camp. I am happier in the woods than just about anywhere else, but that red-flag side of my personality came to life and squealed, "Ella going to sleep in a tent? This is going to be a complete disaster." To which my husband replied, "You think everything is going to be a disaster." Cue the giant fight in the car. I'll spare you the details, but ultimately Mike won and soon we were camping bound with our tent and a tiny little sleeping bag for Miss Ella B. 

Now, the title of this post indicates that I was right. I was and I wasn't. Let's begin with the wasn't part. Camping was not a disaster. We swam in the lake, took a family boat ride, roasted marshmallows, made new friends, and overall, had a really awesome time as indicated below.

Super excited about the boat ride and the life jacket. Also, she is obsessed with her water shoes and wants to wear them everyday. She now calls Target the "water shoes" store.
Eating lunch with her new friends Emmett, Ned, and Finn
In her new camping chair, ready to make her first s'more.
With Larry
 These pictures definitely prove that our camping trip was mostly a success. Ella had a great time and so did we. The failure part came as the sun began to set. All day she was in love with the idea of sleeping in a tent. She loved her little sleeping bag and the idea that mommy and daddy would be sleeping right next to her. She loved hiding and playing in the tent and thought the whole thing was pretty great, until, of course, it was actually time to sleep in the tent. We read books, we pretended to go to sleep with her, we let her stay up late in hopes that she would pass out, but she was having none of it. She finally looked at Mike and said, "Want to go home," with these big tired eyes. Quite shockingly, Mike looked at me and said, "You were right. I was wrong." Now, these are not easy words for my husband to say. I'm glad I was sitting at the time or I might have fallen right over. I was right. She wasn't ready to sleep in a tent, so Mike packed her up, put her in the car and drove home. He told me to stay and enjoy myself and that he'd come back in the morning.

As I watched his tail lights disappear behind the trees, I should have been thrilled. Not only did my husband admit that I was right about something, but he also gave me the whole night off to enjoy with my friends. So why did I feel so defeated as they drove away? Because sometimes you really do hope you are wrong. As much as I can't stand to hear him say, "See, she's fine," whenever Ella succeeds at something I don't think she is ready for, it is always worth it because it means we are doing something fun together. The truth is, I would have gladly traded my "rightness" to have my little family sleeping together in that tent so I could wake up to her smiling face right next to me.

I went to bed feeling a little sad and a little lonely, but in the morning, when Mike and Ella returned, I remembered that camping is not just about sleeping in a tent. It's about campfires, and caterpillars, and swimming, and getting good and dirty, and laughing with friends. Ella may not be ready to sleep in a tent, but she is ready for the fun of a camping trip, and she enjoyed every minute of it.

This time around, I was mostly right. I can only hope that next time I'll be completely wrong. That would be the best.

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