Rain. Dance.

August 31, 2007

I’m still sorting through the literal and figurative detritus of the National Lampoon adventure that was our recent camping holiday. So far as I have been able to determine since our return, I think that I came away from the experience with nearly 400 digital photos, 60 lbs of dirty laundry, innumerable mosquito bites in unmentionable places and the discomfiting realization that I am currently marching determinedly into the condition of being relentlessly boring and that that’s okay. More on that once the laundry’s sorted.

The trip was good, though, on the whole, in that strange way that deeply stressful but enlightening experiences can be, when interspersed with breaks for building sandcastles and paddling canoes and quaffing cheap liquor. As, for example, when two days of sharing a 29 foot long motorhome with my mother-in-law culminated in a spectacular thunderstorm that turned the campsite – shared with three sets of siblings-in-law and their families, living in tents – into a mud slick and drove everybody into the tiny, muggy tin shack on wheels that we were calling home, whereupon there was no choice but break open the tequila, let the children swing from the bunkbeds and upper cabinets and make the best of it. It’s moments like those that teach you that when life gives you thundershowers, mud and in-laws all in one messy package, it’s best to just pull out the liquor and throw a party. Those are life lessons. They’re precious.


It’s too easy to forget that most of things that cause us stress and anxiety are actually quite ridiculous, when considered against the vast, inscrutable complexity of nature and the universe and life and everything. That being human is a condition of being relentlessly silly, insofar as being human means struggling against disorder and chaos and mess and thunderstorms. We can’t fight thunderstorms. They just happen.


We can’t fight a thunderstorm, but we can shelter ourselves against a thunderstorm, we can huddle together wherever it’s warm and dry, and maybe have a drink or two or three and sing a song or six and tell a joke or seven to pass the time while the rain and the wind pound the walls around us and then, then, when the rain has passed and the ground is sodden with mud and rain-slicked leaves and we go outside into the fresh-scrubbed air and stamp our feet into the soft ground – then, we can dance.

The WonderBaby Mudslick Two-Step: clap, clap; step, step; right foot mud stamp; left foot mud stamp; run. (West African drum stylings courtesy of brother-in-law and sister-in-law; any percussive beat will, however, serve nicely as accompaniment.)

(This is not, perhaps, exactly what was called for in PBN’s Make A Move On Me Blog Blast – intended to promote Baby Loves Disco - but hey. It’s dancing.)

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    { 40 comments }

    slouching mom August 31, 2007 at 11:10 am

    Awww….

    She’s too much, that one. I heart her.

    latergaiter August 31, 2007 at 12:15 pm

    that’s some pretty great drumming (and dancing of course!)

    Mouse August 31, 2007 at 12:20 pm

    Who is that GIRL? Wonderbaby’s outgrowing her name!

    liv August 31, 2007 at 12:41 pm

    Sounds like a magnificent trip! Some of my fondest memories are of being piled into small spaces with loads of other kids.

    Avalon August 31, 2007 at 12:46 pm

    That Wonderbaby is a dancing queen. However, I am irrationally obsessed with the idea of mosquito bites in unmentionable places. What exactly were you doing on vacation?

    pinks & Blues Girls August 31, 2007 at 12:47 pm

    I have such fond memories of my childhood family vacations. Parents trying to squeeze every bit of fun into each and every moment with the limited funds they had… us kids playing games/fighting/trying to keep each other awake in the back seat… coming home with stories to tell and memories to last a lifetime. Priceless!

    Jane, Pinks & Blues Girls

    Major Bedhead August 31, 2007 at 12:52 pm

    She’s so stinkin’ cute.

    I’m impressed that you managed a vacation with various and sundry in-laws and the worst thing that happened was a bajillion mosquito bites. Had it been me, someone most likely would have been maimed for life. Or dead. Probably me.

    mothergoosemouse August 31, 2007 at 12:58 pm

    You have such wonderful perspective. I think I would have curled into the fetal position around a bottle of vodka.

    (But I would’ve uncurled long enough to watch WB dance.)

    painted maypole August 31, 2007 at 1:00 pm

    mud + kids = lots of fun (and, apparently 60 pounds of laundry)

    Karen August 31, 2007 at 1:25 pm

    great dancing -pretty sure Baby Loves Disco needs very little in the way of promotion anyway….good luck with your laundering – boring but a sign of good things.

    ewe are here August 31, 2007 at 1:30 pm

    Love the dancing. I hope WB and her cousins did some puddle dancing after the thunderstorm, too. ;-)

    Damselfly August 31, 2007 at 2:37 pm

    “..when life gives you thundershowers, mud and in-laws all in one messy package, it’s best to just pull out the liquor and throw a party.” Can I quote you on that?!

    Wonderful dancing.

    b*babbler August 31, 2007 at 3:35 pm

    She is way too cute.

    And that picture of everyone packed into the motorhome? Way too much (in every possible meaning of the phrase)!

    Kyla August 31, 2007 at 3:49 pm

    I can’t imagine the explosive cuteness when WB and Bumper get together. Oh my.

    I love the way she ran off in the end. Beautiful little girlie.

    Delilah August 31, 2007 at 4:21 pm

    What a cutie!

    something blue August 31, 2007 at 6:04 pm

    You know I’m all about dancing and liquor!

    Mrs. Chicky August 31, 2007 at 6:23 pm

    Hey, she dances better than I do.

    Christine August 31, 2007 at 6:39 pm

    i love the tequila and rain story. love it!

    Bloor West Mama August 31, 2007 at 6:44 pm

    Welcome back…by the sounds and looks of it, you had a great time:)

    daysgoby August 31, 2007 at 8:07 pm

    I love the line about thunderstorms. (As the wind and rain crash around me.) Appropriate, as much of your writing is.

    Welcome home, C! That girl of yours is a peach!

    Anonymous August 31, 2007 at 9:56 pm

    Her bad mother-in-law told her bad sister-in-law that she was very impressed with Her-bad-mother’s hospitality during the thunderstorm of the year – she said Her-bad-mother calmly pulled out snacks and drinks for all as Wonder Baby swung like a monkey from the bunk.

    Bitsy Parker August 31, 2007 at 10:33 pm

    I’d like to read further post about the African drum beat from the bil and sil.

    velocibadgergirl September 1, 2007 at 12:18 am

    “It’s too easy to forget that most of things that cause us stress and anxiety are actually quite ridiculous, when considered against the vast, inscrutable complexity of nature and the universe and life and everything. That being human is a condition of being relentlessly silly, insofar as being human means struggling against disorder and chaos and mess and thunderstorms. We can’t fight thunderstorms. They just happen.”

    Insanely well said! *raises glass*

    Staci Schoff September 1, 2007 at 2:33 am

    In-laws and liquor — inseparable!

    nomotherearth September 1, 2007 at 8:55 am

    That girl’s got style. I love the first photo too – that’s a keeper.

    Sarcasta-Mom September 1, 2007 at 11:15 am

    I second velocibadgergirl!

    Beautiful piece, a nice reminder that sometimes we just have to embrace life’s thunderstorms the best we can. And never forget to take the chance to dance.

    WB is rock-star :)

    Lisa b September 1, 2007 at 11:58 am

    I am starting to think that the life lesson you describe so well is maybe THE life lesson.
    That and keep lots of liquor on hand.

    The Estrogen Files September 1, 2007 at 1:35 pm

    Oh yeah, I can get behind the tequila movement!

    CurlyGirl (8) wanted to know if the baby was afraid to dance in front of everyone, but liked the dancing, overall. After asking if it was in Spanish.

    Tracey September 1, 2007 at 3:19 pm

    I love how space and time can put perspective into a vacation, and make you realize that you really really had fun, and that you’d do it again. It’ll be the vacation that family legends come from…

    nonlineargirl September 1, 2007 at 4:22 pm

    All oregon vacations are vacations in the rain. Now that I think about it, I suppose this helps the vacationers slow down, read a book, watch the world pass by.

    mo-wo September 1, 2007 at 5:11 pm

    It IS too easy to forget that the anxieties are silly ones so often.

    Aren’t we lucky ones. A world full of worries for so many and our shortlists of irksome in-laws and lost freedoms to luxuries… we are lucky ones.

    Welcome home.

    Anonymous September 1, 2007 at 6:21 pm

    There are many kinds of thunderstorms. Those internal can be more ravaging than any in nature. And of course, there is Lear, in that one great literary interface of the outside and inner world, suffering the lashes of the winds, the thrashings of the wounded.

    Moments do, as you suggest, ease tempests.

    Glennia September 2, 2007 at 2:14 am

    It feels as though WonderBaby is growing up before my eyes, which is an odd thing to say about a child I’ve never even met. What a precious little daughter you have, HBM. What a precious time you all had together, thunderstorms or not.

    winslow1204 September 2, 2007 at 12:05 pm

    Love the photos on your site!

    Julie Pippert September 2, 2007 at 12:11 pm

    What. a. cutie. pie!

    Methinks she is outgrown (has outgrown?) the WonderBaby moniker! And so fast (from this end LOL).

    Wisdom. And fun. All in one post. Love it!

    Julie
    Using My Words

    Liz September 2, 2007 at 9:26 pm

    I love that she just SPLITS when her dance is done.

    “Seeeeee ya’!”

    mom2amara September 3, 2007 at 7:07 am

    Loving the dance!

    Noe September 3, 2007 at 9:46 am

    when i saw the picture of the kids inside the van/rv (whatever that is…) it brought sweet memories of my childhood!
    thanks for sharing that with us!
    Noelia

    Jenn September 3, 2007 at 5:05 pm

    Hey, dancing is dancing.

    And sometimes the fact that we can dance after the rain is the most remarkable part of all.

    Dance on.

    Hollie September 3, 2007 at 10:17 pm

    No longer a wonder babe but a wonder two! ….

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