The boys lay sprawled across their sleeping bags wearing only underwear. There I sat between them, the tent lit by only battery operated lantern, fanning them with a plastic dinner plate. An overstimulated CJ had dissolved into a fit of tears a half an hour earlier at the mention of going to bed now lay still. Just when I thought he'd dozed off he would speak. If I could get them cool enough, maybe they could sleep. Then CJ asked me why I was fanning them with a plate. "To keep you cool," I replied. "Stop it and go to bed," he said. Gee, I work and I slave and I sit up in a tent in the middle of the night fanning you and this is the thanks I get. I went to "bed" and attempted to settle in for the night. At first light drops splattered against the outside of the tent. "Is it raining," WC asked. Jay confirmed it was and I waited for the freak out to begin (he's been very afraid of storms since the May floods). But he seemed to remain calm. Then the bottom of the clouds dropped out. I dozed on and off the rest of the night. I'd wake and reach over to the tent floor, praying that I didn't feel water. I'd find all dry and switch on the flashlight to see two sleeping boys across the tent and nothing dripping from the ceiling. And back to sleep if only for a short while. The downpour brought a cool breeze through the vents in the tent. We were comfortable, at last. The sun rose on Saturday morning to drops dripping from the tree leaves and signifying the end of my first night in a tent. Birds fought loudly overhead. I glanced over to find WC laying awake and staring up at the ceiling with a disgusted look on his face. He stayed that way for sometime before grabbing his pillow and diving his head underneath to try and drown out the squawking.
After breakfast we were off for our service project. All the boys piled into the back of a couple trucks to head down to the office. I loved the look on their little faces when they saw the big truck they would ride in. For our service project we were cleaning a new walking trail for the park. The little boys had to pick up rocks from the middle of the trail and line them along the edges. Even CJ participated. But his thing was to rearrange the rocks on the side of the trail. Keeping him on the trail was another time consuming activity. I voted CJ most likely to get poison ivy out there. However, one of the older boys managed to beat him to him by going out and pulling poison ivy directly off the side of the tree with his hands. He was promply whisked away to the office to wash. I'm just grateful it wasn't CJ!