May 31, 2015

The Cats Were Away

When each of my children turn 8, 12 and 16, they get an "alone trip" with mom and/or dad (usually an "or" because it is next to impossible to coordinate an "and").

Bridger turned 8 back in March.  I had thought about a birthday trip for him. . . then dismissed it, feeling somewhat guilty about doing so, but justifying it by reminding myself that Bridger prefers the company of his siblings and thinking we could just do a family trip later on in the spring.

However, his brother didn't dismiss Bridger's significant birthday opportunity.  Lance went to Alan to remind him that Bridger needed a special trip and actually had an idea of what Bridger should do.  Lance thought that his brother should do what he had done when he turned 8 and have a extra special, slightly modified, cabin trip.  Lance also thought he should accompany Bridger on his trip:)

I know that Lance would give anything to have a typical brother to enjoy all his outdoor experiences with, but he acts like his time with Bridger is the best time ever.  For that reason and more, I think he is a champion.

Bridger was beyond excited with anticipation all week.  He went to bed every night babbling about his trip itinerary and Alan and I woke up every morning to the same excited dialogue.

The boys took off on Friday night and began Bridger's 8th birthday adventure.

It might seem overly simple and down right unexciting to others, but to Bridger, it was all of his favorite things.

They first stopped at Cracker Barrel that is near the cabin for dinner.  Bridger loooooves Cracker Barrel.  Behind Cracker Barrel is the other love of Bridger's life - Walmart.  He picked out some stickers for himself, then he reached for another pack and explained to Alan that they were "for Baby" (Eliza).  I love that he looks out for her even when he is not with her. Lance chose some foam swords and shields for an epic brother battle later.

After Walmart they stopped at the local gas station to pick up some little homemade pies that one of the local residents bakes every day and sells there by the register.  Love those country stores.

Bridger had never been willing to try pie before that night.

He must have been feeling adventurous!

The next day they went fishing.  Bridger thinks it is hilarious when the fish pull on the line.  His favorite part is flapping his hand around the shallow bucket of water and watching the newly caught fish flop.  {insert ew}  He even caught one more than his brother!

They each caught some big ones.  They returned to the cabin and Alan cleaned them out and Lance cooked them up for dinner.

The brothers had their sword fight until they were both out of breath, then they tucked Bridger into bed and Alan and Lance went upstairs and watched some boy movies and drank rootbeer straight out of the bottle - accompanied by the mutual feeling that, sometimes, life is really really good.

The following day they went into town and attended church.  We call it the "cabin church" and Lance really loves to go there now that he is starting to make some friends there. They are truly the kindest and sweetest people to Bridger.  I will always have a tender spot in my heart for some of the most heart warming and genuine acts of kindness they have shown to Bridger when we have attended.

The most fun part of the trip was when they returned home.  There is something completely addictive about Bridger's little soul.  Even though it is wonderful to have some respite from caring for him 24/7, I miss him something terrible when he is away -- and he really misses mom too.  He gives me the best welcome home hugs.

I am so grateful for a brother who wanted to make sure that his little brother didn't miss out on his special time.  I am so grateful for a husband who summons the energy of Hercules to do such a trip.

I am grateful for those 3 cool cats.