Happy bald birthday

“Daddy doesn’t have any hair. He just has those little things on his head.” -Jewel

And thank goodness, since we spent our weekend–3B and Mama’s birthday weekend–outside, camping at Harper’s Ferry. When we arrived on Friday night it was still as hot as a snake in a skillet…a humid snake in a skillet, but fortunately we were camping next to the river, which kept us a bit cooler, and gave us a place to throw our rocks.

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And dance.

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The river was also a good place for a ball to float away, causing me to run in after it, sinking up to my thighs in mud, having to dig out my brand new Keens, since they wouldn’t come up out of the muck with my foot.

But, fortunately, that same river cooled things off that night.

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Although the temperature didn’t keep us up, we were awake a few times that night since this was a campsite only a mother could love. Specifically, it was a campsite only my mother could love, since it was right next to a train track, which was busier on Friday night than any other night of the week, apparently. I guess even Thomas and his friends need to blow off a little steam.

We did all get enough rest and the next day we drove to another stretch of the river, which was a good place to rent a tube or six and float along for about two hours. But not before a little chocolate milk for breakfast…

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…and a quick sketch.

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The river also appeared in the lyrics 3B wrote to What a Wonderful World, but I hope to record him singing that, so I won’t spoil the surprise here, except to share this picture, which he had me take to illustrate his words.

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The next day we took a short walk under those train tracks…

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…and up a small stream.

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After that, we headed into town, where there were people in costume, soldiers and, of course, a bookstore.

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After we got provisioned at the bookstore, we added one more soldier to the ranks of those in town.

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Then we learned how to drill and fire by company, rank and file properly before heading for home.

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After all that, we were all pretty tired, but I was still doing my best to firmly and compassionately enforce a zero-tolerance for disrespect. I finally tried to inject some fun and common interest into our situation by allowing everyone to pick their own music for 15 minutes for all of us to listen to. Despite that, the disrespect resulted in us pulling over several times until the situation in the backseat could be resolved with respect. At times, however, it was too dangerous for pulling onto the shoulder, so I did what I could to remove my attention from the situation, switching over from the kids’ music to my music and turning it up.

Unfortunately, the first time I did it, while the song was appropriate–I mean, c’mon, what’s more loving than Sublime’s What I Got?–I did happen to crank it up for the guitar solo intro lyrics, “I can play the guitar like a motherf@#$ing riot.”

So that was awesome.

And so when Jewel says, “Mommy doesn’t have any hair on her head, it all turned white and fell out.” …that was my fault. Nice birthday gift, huh?

But we all survived the ride home and enjoyed baths–boy, did we enjoy those after two days sweating it out between the river and the railroad–dinner, cake and gifts.

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We ended the day with a friendly fight–a Harry Potter chess match.

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