Sunday, June 24, 2018

Survivor: Junior Edition

Father's Day with Dad.  

This Dad was celebrated too by his four sons and "daughter" Rosie (who quite possibly loves him the most!).

The kiddos celebrated Papa.

Little brother and big sister.

Summer is meant for friends.

Earlier this week, Chris jolted me awake.  With bleary-eyes and a foggy brain, I mumbled "What time is it?"

"It's 12:30 a.m.," he exclaimed.  "I've searched all over the house and can't find Cooper!"

In my drowsy state, it took a few minutes to process his words.  Once I comprehended his statement, I leaped out of bed.

At first, I imagined he overlooked Cooper amid a sea of blankets and pillows.  But Cooper was notably absent from his bed.  We searched closets, underneath beds, and within the storage area.  Cooper remained missing.

We raced outside and opened the barn.  We scanned the garage, and it was bare.  His bike leaned against the wall.  In the driveway, the cars were parked.  Surely we missed him somewhere in the house, I mused.  We combed the house, barn, and garage again.  Still no sight of our son!

Did he wander over to a friend's house? I questioned.  

Do we need to call the police?  I fretted

Finally, we screamed his name outside.  Within a minute, he emerged from the dark rubbing his eyes and stumbled our way.

"Where have you been?" I yelled at Cooper while pulling him into a hug.

"I was practicing wilderness survival," he announced as if my question was preposterous.

He motioned to the place where he was sleeping without any bedding or a sleeping bag.  It was a small bush at the side of our house.

Just days earlier, Cooper returned from Boy Scout camp.  He walked into our home with a putrid bag of laundry and tales from camp.  With a twinkle in his eye, he recounted his wilderness survival badge training.  One night, he created his own shelter within the woods and slept on the ground (sans bed sheets or a sleeping bag).  From that experience, he only emerged with one tick.  

Only the legs are still in my body, he assured me about the tick. 

Good to know.

He shared that another friend had to move his sleeping ground due to cockroaches.


At home, Cooper begged to engage in wilderness training again.  I agreed, but we never talked about specifics.  I certainly didn't know his plans to practice his skills that night.

As I've had time to reflect on this story, I laugh and shake my head in bewilderment.  Perhaps Cooper will end up on a reality TV show like Survivor or Naked and Afraid.  But my hope is to survive his childhood!

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