I hadn’t had the opportunity to spend one-on-one time with Đán, my second son, too often; therefore, I was looking forward to our weekend camping trip together with his Cub Scouts. It turned out to be an enjoyable and memorable experience—at least for me.
Located right next to the skatepark, the Lake Fairfax campsite was a perfect spot for us. The clean family bathrooms were the bonus. On Friday evening around 5:00 pm, Đán and I drove to the campsite to check in and to put up our tent. Thanks to my wife for buying a CORE 6 Person Instant Cabin Tent with Wall Organizer, the setup was intuitive and easy. As someone who can’t put anything together, I guarantee that setting up a CORE tent is stress-free. After getting ourselves situated and setting up the zipline, we headed over to the skatepark around 6:30 pm to rollerblade and grabbed a quick dinner.
We returned to the campsite around 8:30 pm to join other families. While the kids were taking turns on the zipline, the parents gathered around and chatted. The kids and parents headed to bed around 11 pm, but I still sat around and chatted with a leader and another father. Out of all the parents, these two are my type of guys. We didn’t go to bed until 3:00 am in the morning. At night, the temperature dropped and it was too cold to sleep even though we had sleeping bags. Đán came close to me and told me I could hold him if I wanted. I was surprised because he rarely showed his affections. I wrapped my arms around him for a bit, but then I turned to the opposite side so that we didn’t face each other. I didn’t bring my CPAP machine; therefore, I didn’t want to snore right next to him. Still, I couldn’t sleep much.
Saturday was a busy day for the Scouts. They had many activities including setting up the tent, starting the fire, and cooking contest. They had their leaders running all the programs. The parents just observed and cheered them on. While the kids were busy with their activities, I went over to the skatepark for 30 to 45 minutes each time. One of the parents volunteered to cook phở and grilled BBQ. She had always been a great cook; therefore; her food had always been delicious. This time was no exception.
Later in the afternoon, I saw Đán sitting by himself on a rock. He used a stick to tap on the rock. I asked him what he was doing. He told me that he was practicing piano. After a while I asked him if he wanted to join me at the skatepark. He didn’t want to, but he wanted boba tea. I told him to hop in and I took him to Kung Fu Tea, which was about two miles down the road. After that, we joined the pack for dinner. The Scouts had more activities. Because I couldn’t sleep much the night before, I was sleepy and exhausted from skating. I went into our tent to rest and to take a quick nap. The kids were done around 9 something. We hung out for a bit and went to sleep around 11 pm.
We woke up on Sunday, ate breakfast, broke down our tents, joined the closing ceremony, cleaned up our area, then headed out around 10 am. Đán and I stopped by the skatepark before heading home. It was a great trip because we spent time outdoors and close to nature rather than sitting at home on our digital devices. Đán participated in all the activities and he made friends with his group, but he also seemed to be a bit distant at times.
Without his siblings, Đán behaved much better. I was so fed up with his constant fights with Đạo and Xuân. They got on each other’s nerves every five minutes. No matter how many times I explained to them the importance of bonding and getting along with each other, they never seemed to register. I was always upset and irritated to hear them insulting each other and to see them punching one another. At times, I wanted to beat some sense into them, but I knew I couldn’t. Banning them from their digital devices was my only form of punishment. When I was their age, I didn’t spend much time with my sister because she was already way older than me. On occasions she would slap me for doing something wrong. We didn’t have much memories together.