Here is Rowan’s artistic interpretation of his recent camping trip:
In the middle, you will observe a tent with three smiling stick figures inside: the two little ones are Rowan and Isaac, and the bigger one, natch, is Rachel. Off to the right, in his own little tent, is Rob-the-donor. If you look closely, you can just make out what he’s thinking:
At the top is the requisite kindergarten-grade sun. To the right is Lake Superior, clear and warm, shallow for miles in under the August sky.
But, you’re thinking to yourself, someone is missing. Susan, where are you?
Maybe you have been eaten by a bear? Perhaps you are visiting the Portapotty? Trying to patch the slow leak in the air mattress?
No, no, and no.
Maybe, then, you are soaking commando in a hot tub underneath the stars before taking yourself off for ice cream and to see a late showing of The Kids Are All Right — which did, after all, come to Thunder Bay! Later, maybe you slept in, and then woke up to do yoga before settling in for a morning of quietly reading the manuscript of your novel-in-progress. After which, maybe you went for a long walk, picked some raspberries, returned home to finish your readthrough, and then went out for a long-overdue dinner with a friend. Maybe you ate slow-cooked ribs and gumbo and jambalaya. Maybe you read your girl friend’s copy of the third Stieg Larsson novel in bed and then slept, uninterrupted by partiers in the next campground over or a shrieking baby in the next tent or your own three-year-old son, who never quite settled and hopped from Thermarest to Thermarest every two hours through the night. Maybe you woke up to do more yoga and plot out the events of your novel on a spreadsheet before making gazpacho and pasta with tomatoes, cucumbers, chard, and parsley from your very own garden, ready for your sunsoaked family when they returned after their 48 hours away from you. Maybe you all watched The Empire Strikes Back together when they got home.
Maybe you missed them.