We spent the past few days at Zion National Park for a family reunion on Andrew’s side of the family. I went up a day earlier than Andrew and I was very glad I did. I was afraid it would be a little awkward because there are a few people in Andrew’s family that I hadn’t ever met (there are still a few left, actually, that I’ve yet to meet, even after the reunion). I had already met almost everyone there, though, and the ones I was introduced to were very nice.
Andrew’s cousin Ashley apparently follows our blog (hi, Ashley!) and knew so much about us that it made me feel famous...so it was especially fun to meet her! She had her mom, Aunt Therena, bring down a big bag of yarn for me (that she was planning on giving away anyway) because she knew that I crocheted. It was so sweet.
Rachel was in “friend” heaven. There were so many 2, 3, and 4 year-olds running around it was hard to keep them straight. Rachel was especially fond of Adrian and Barrett. She called them her '”boy-friends.” I tried to convince her they were her cousins but she didn’t believe me.
“How come I’ve never met them if they’re my cousins?”
“Well…because we’ve been living in Egypt…and they’re really your dad’s cousins’ children so they are your second cousins.”
“Mom, we’re just friends, okay?”
She was really open to the idea of having so many new aunts and uncles, though.
We didn’t do much on Thursday but settle into camp. Some families brought RVs. The rest stayed in the hotel adjacent to the RV park. We were part of “the rest” and it was the most comfortable camping experience I’ve ever had.
Rachel spent quite a while with Grandpa down by the river. I think it’s the Virgin River but it might not be. The Virgin River flows through the canyon, I know…so it would only go to figure…but I could be wrong. She was really nervous about the fish in the water, particularly the “peanut-butter fish.” When we were packing up at home Grandpa told her there would be a river so she started asking if there would be jellyfish in the water because she hates jellyfish and wouldn’t want to go swimming if there were jellyfish in the water.
Grandpa gets all smart and said, “There are no jellyfish in the water…but there are peanut-butter fish.”
“They stick to the roof of your mouth,” I added.
“So be sure not to try to eat them,” warned Grandpa.
Rachel was as nervous as she could be at the river, worrying about the peanut-butter fish that “stick to the roof of your house.” Even though we told her over and over again that we were joking she remained genuinely terrified and screamed hysterically every time Grandpa threatened to take her closer to the water.
Miriam was less melodramatic.
Later, after Grandpa went to sit up by Aunt Therena and Uncle John’s RV, Rachel got brave enough to play by the water and pretended to fish for a while. She was trying to catch her a nice peanut-butter fish.
Looking at that water started giving her ideas and soon she asked if she could go swimming. I told her that we could go swimming together but that there was no way I was going to swim with her in the river. I heard that it was 50°F (10°C) but it felt much colder than that. I tried standing in it and my feet started aching and screaming to get out.
Unfortunately, the pool wasn’t much warmer, but I got in the pool anyway because I’m a nice, dedicated mother (you can thank me when you’re older, Rachel). She insisted that the water was fine but did so while her teeth were a-chattering and her skin was turning blue and breaking out in goose bumps. I didn’t get in past my waist.
Uncle Clark, though? He dove right in.
“Come on in, the water’s fine!” he yelled happily to his grandkids. Then he turned to me and whispered, “This pool is flippin’ cold!”
We stayed in until Rachel was shivering uncontrollably. Then we went to rest in the last rays of sunshine before it disappeared behind the 3,800 foot cliffs surrounding us.
At home, before we left, I told Andrew to be sure to pack his swimming stuff so that, if the pool was still open, we could go swimming. But I couldn’t say this out loud because Rachel was around and if she heard there was a pool at the hotel and then there wasn’t…well, we would have had a major crisis on our hands. So instead of saying anything simple like, “Remember to pack your swimsuit,” I said, “Remember to pack attire for the P-O-O-L.”
“What for?” Andrew asked.
“Well, unless you want to S-W-I-M naked you’re going to need something…”
“Oh, that…” he laughed, “I thought you meant ‘a tire,’ like for a car.”
“No. I meant ‘attire,’ like for you.”
I told Grandpa this story while we were walking from the river to the pool and Rachel was there and overheard it.
“We don’t bring tires to the pool. Like, some people use them, but I like to leave my wheels on the car. Did you see the people in the wheels in the river? We aren’t going to do that at the pool because you can’t take a tire to the pool.”
She was talking about the people we saw tubing down the river (the crazies! The water was like 50-stinkin’-degrees!) but the funny part was that she had the same thought her dad had. Attire=a tire.
Either she’s a really smart for her age or her father thinks like a three-year-old…
Just kidding—I think the man’s brilliant, obviously!
Calamitously, like most brilliant people, he’s also a little scatterbrained. And thus he forgot his swimming attire. So every time Rachel wanted to go swimming in the frigid pool (which was probably only about 5 degrees warmer than the river) guess who had to take her? Me.
I never got in past my waist and spent as much time as I could hogging the sun. Uncle Clark made like he was going to splash me once and I said, “Oh, don’t you dare!”
Either a) I’ve perfected my evil look, b) Clark was afraid to offend the newbie (I was the newest in-law in attendence, I think), or c) Clark’s just a compassionate person because he didn’t splash me and didn’t even fake like he was going to again. Truthfully I didn’t want him to splash me but I would have been fine if he had because I was towing Rachel around while she kicked her legs to practice “swimming” and got thoroughly splashed, anyway.
After swimming we had supper and a family meeting before retiring to our room for bed. Rachel played “musical beds.” She fell asleep with Auntie Sarah, then I took her to bed with me when I went to bed, and then at five in the morning she wound up in bed with Grandma and Grandpa. It was kind of funny…but I think I’m getting into day #2 now and I’m not ready to do that, really, because I’m exhausted and need to go to bed.
I miss looking out the window and seeing this, though:
It was such a beautiful weekend!