I loved making Smore's around the fire. My oldest three kids are old enough now that they're practically fighting each other over who gets to make me a marshmallow next.
And one thing I really love about going camping every year is our tent. It is enormous. We call it the Taj Mahal.
|So spacious. This thing has rooms inside it, you guys.|
The best part about the Taj Mahal is that the entire top is just mesh windows, so it's like you're sleeping out in the open air but without the potential for Zika virus. It's seriously the best, looking up at the stars and drifting off to sleep.
After Smore's the first night we went to bed, leaving the rainfly (which is the tarp that covers up those lovely windows in the event of rain to keep everything dry) outside on the ground.
According to the weather, there was a 10% chance of rain that night, which is practically 0%.* How would we ever have suspected anything as random as a freak downpour at 3 AM?
As you've probably guessed, there was a freak downpour at 3 AM. At first it was just a light drizzle, and then the monsoon struck.
Phillip leaped outside the tent and grabbed the rainfly, but as you can imagine it's not easy to wake up from a dead sleep and do anything requiring coordination and/or mental acuity.
While rain is pouring on you.
In the middle of the night in the dark.
Also, since the Taj Mahal is so honking big it's really a two-person job to pull the rainfly over it and stake it down.
I happened to be half-asleep nursing the baby at the time, so I put him down to help. Oddly enough, he didn't start crying. As if it was totally normal to have his meal interrupted and suddenly find himself alone on the floor getting rained on.
Whatever kept him calm though, it didn't extend to his siblings in the tent.
At least two of the other kids were crying, and the 2-year-old was sobbing, "Soaking wet! Soaking wet!" He doesn't even know what that means, but his sisters were wailing it so he thought he was supposed to be doing it, too.**
I jumped out of the tent just in time to remember that I'm the worst person to have around in emergency situations. My body flies into high gear but my brain doesn't turn on for several minutes. It's possible that I just ran around in circles yelling "What do I do??" I don't even know.
Eventually both of us pulled the rainfly over the Taj Mahal. By that time our friends had come out of their tent next door — presumably to see if they could help, but possibly just to watch the show (I wouldn't have blamed them.)
The 2-year-old was still freaking out, with increased intensity now that the rainfly was on. Not only was he groggy and wet, there was a terrible racket as the rain pelted the top and bounced off.
The downpour didn't last long, although it did drizzle on and off all night.
The children who were weeping the loudest were also the most tired, and it was relatively quick to calm them down and get them to go back to sleep on their moderately soggy bedding.
The baby patiently waited to finish his meal (still not sure what was going on there) and Phillip lay there contemplating burning down the tent in the morning and never going camping again.
And I learned a very important lesson: always use the rainfly.
*Practically 0% is not the same thing as 0%.
**No one was actually "soaking wet." My kids were slightly damp and like to exaggerate. I have no idea where they get that.