After Wednesday's brutal heat, I wanted to make sure that our belongings were packed and loaded onto the car well before the day got hot.
We needed to leave by 12:00, so we aimed to leave at 10:00. We probably could have left later, but we wanted to get home with plenty of spare time for my youngest to get ready and get to her friend's Bat Mitzvah.
My youngest woke up on her own and took an early morning dip before the rest of us opened our eyes. I got up next and then my son. I let her sleep a little longer, but once I had packed up all my belongings, we needed to wake my eldest, so both she and her sister could pack up their belongings. Also, we needed to pack up the tent, which is one of the first items we needed to load into the car.
Even once everyone was up and moving, they were not moving fast.
The kids did not seem to grasp the urgency of the situation.
I felt like a broken record, repeating over and over: "we need to get the car loaded before it gets hot, and we do not have much time!"
The early morning hours are fairly cool, but that does not last long. I knew that once the sun rose a bit higher, we would lose all our shade and we would start feeling weighed down by the heat. If that happened, packing up would become a nightmare.
I managed to get everyone moving, but they were slow. My friend, who must be an angel, offered to help us pack up. She and her kids really pitched in and helped. Once they joined us, we had ten pairs of hands at work! All of a sudden, everyone was working and none of my kids (or hers) complained about anything. The cooperation was amazing!! We were finished pakcing in a matter of minutes!
My friend had a big tiyul day planned with her kids. My kids were ready to go home.
We pulled out of the campsite at 9:30, earlier than we had planned, but more than ready to be on our way.
I decided to treat my kids, and myself, to ice coffee. We stopped at Tzomet Tzemach to pick up the ice coffee, and then drove straight to Jerusalem.
We could not agree about what music to play, so we did not play anything and spent the ride talking, joking, and laughing.
Along the way, the kids all expressed that they had a good time and were glad we went camping together. Their appreciation made all my efforts worthwhile.
Everyone was tired when we got home, but all the kids pitched in and unloaded the car in record time. I loved seeing them work together!
I think the ride home was my favorite part of the trip.
Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.
With love and optimism,