The truth is that I was interested in seeing the International Show.
Though we could have bought an extra ticket, I realized:
1. that it was important for MD to have time alone with his Abba (dad)
2. that I should stay and hang out with the girls.
Now, as soon as she finished eating and clearing up, Y buried herself inside her tent. She seriously ran away from the mosquitos! She covered herself from head to toe and had no intentions of stepping foot outside of her sleeping bag, never mind her tent.
But, mosquitos or no, A and I needed to go to the bathroom before going to bed, and that meant a walk to the gym.
I suggested to Y that even if she did not need to use the bathroom right that moment, she would probably need to use it some time that evening. And, if she did not go with us, she would have to go on her own.
At first, Y adamantly refused to leave her "safe haven." But, logic eventually won out.
So, the three of us made our way to the gym. When we got there, we ran into YB's daughters. (I had run into YB earlier, but somehow the girls had not found each other before.)
Well, all of a sudden, my girls were no longer tired and the mosquitos were inconsequential.
They started playing this game that reminded me of nok-hocky, but not quite. In this two player game, also on a simple wooden board, players use their fingers to shoot wooden pucks through a hole in a wooden barrier. (you can see the game on this video of the Juggler's Convention, at 1:35)
I was really tired, but it was so good to see the girls having fun that I decided to hang around. I started talking with Super Charlie, one the of juggling equiptment vendors. (He makes most of his equiptment from recycled materials.) He's a really nice guy with an interesting story.
At one point, A went into the gym to do gymnastics on the mats. Later she told me that had she known earlier that there were mats, she would have had more fun . Hello!?! I did tell her! Several times!! (sometimes, it can be frustrating being a mom!)
Y also finally got into things. She borrowed some juggling equiptment from Super Charlie (he had a whole big box of equiptment available for playing) and went into the gym to practice.
Charlie offered to teach me how to juggle with scarves, so we went in too. It was a different experience, being on the floor with the jugglers. It was fun.
The gym was not so crowded, and I enjoyed watching my girls having a good time.
All during the convention, I noticed how helpful and friendly other jugglers are. That night, when Y was playing with a set of poi, a young girl came over and just started showing her how to do things. When Y figured out one trick, the girl showed her another.
The dynamic was so special. That quality of encouragement and comraderie is what made the atmosphere so appealing to me.
Around 11:00 pm, Y got tired, and headed off to bed. She left as MD and Moshe arrived. The International Show was over and the gym started filling up again. Moshe only stayed a few minutes, then he also left to go to sleep. At midnight, I pulled A and MD out, so we could sleep too.
It was the end of a good, long day.
The next morning, it was time to pack up.
My mistake, and it was a big one, was not feeding them before we started packing up. I wanted to finish packing everything up before it got too hot. But the kids got grumpy.
At one point, I got fed up with all the complaining, and gave the kids a bit of a chewing out. Afterwards, I noticed A seemed upset. I asked her what was wrong. She protested that she had not been complaining and that I unjustly accused her of such. I realized she was right, and I apologized. Things were better after that.
Moshe finally arrived, bringing good things for breakfast. My friend, B, had packed us a going away picnic. The kids were thrilled to find cold, fresh melon! That sure helped pick up everyone's mood!!
I had insisted that we finish packing the car before eating, so when we finished, we were ready to be on our way.
Our final stop was Gan Garoo, a Kangaroo Park adjacent to Sahne. It is a small, quaint park, where kangaroos usually roam free and can be fed and petted by visitors.
Entrance to the park was free during Pesach, thanks to Bank HaPoalim. Due to the high volume of visitors, the kangaroos chose to remain apart, in roped off areas.
After viewing the koalas and the kangaroos, the girls went on ahead. We found them later, doing the various mazes that are also a part of this unique park. MD, Moshe and I did one of the mazes together.
Before we left, we all got ice pops, a rare treat for our family.
It was a great way to end our camping trip: sitting in the shade, on a hot day, sucking cool, sweet popsickles.
Then we stuffed ourselves back into our car, and began the crowded drive back south.
Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.
With love and optimism,
School Of Hard Knocks
16 hours ago