Six Kids, Four Months and One Camper
-Seeking representation and publication-
129,850 words long (edited 5 times front to back)
Exert from the story:
This was my first time walking back from the hayfield in warm weather. I had been down here plenty of times in the car and tractor, but never had I been able to take-in all the beauty. White daisies bended gently in the light breeze along the pathway. Some sort of purple swamp flower that looked much like an iris filled the swampy puddles along the path. Small, orange flowers with yellow centers popped against the green grasses on their slender, furry stems. I took a deep breath. More and more I breathed trying to suck-in all this wonderful air and remember it forever. That somehow, one of the breaths might imprint itself into my memory to be called back up at a later time and savored all over again. It was one of those places you wanted to picnic at. A nice large blanket with a light lunch, and a long cozy nap in the warm sun on top of the soft grasses.
Frogs hopped about between puddles, under our feet. Then Erik shrieked.
“Holy shit!” He quickly jumped to the side.
I looked down. It was a small garter snake. I bent down carefully and picked it up ever so gently.
“Really? You are freaking out over this?” I began walking toward him.
‘What the Hell! Get that thing away from me! Not funny Suzanne, put it down!” He began backing up.
I cocked an eyebrow and a sly smile spread across my face. Maybe I COULD get revenge for him not helping me up the first time, and then knocking me over the second . . .
“What? You don’t like the snake?”
“You know I hate snakes! Knock it off, it’s not funny! Get away from me dude!” Then he turned and began running up the hill.
I ran after him, holding the snake out, threatening to throw it at him. I’m not THAT mean (for the sake of the snake, not him), so when I ran past a stick, I quickly put the snake down and grabbed that instead. Then I yelled, “here he comes,” and threw the stick with all of my might. It flew slightly ahead of Erik and he took-off in a different direction screaming like a girl and swearing-up a storm!
I was laughing so hard I had to cross my legs. I really had to pee! I don’t know why people say revenge is a bitter pill . . . felt pretty good to me!
I was panting heavily by the time I got back near the camper. I should not have tried to run with a baby on the front of me. It’s exhausting. As I walked past the porta-potty I could hear screams and loud thumps emanating from inside the camper.
I hurriedly kicked-off my muck boots on the deck and climbed into the camper. I didn’t see Erik in the living/dining/kitchen. I unclipped the now awake Earen from his carrier and lay him on his play mat on the floor. The only unoccupied space in the house was right in front of the sofa next to the fireplace, so that’s where his “play” area was. He also had his stand and play center which I used when the kids were running around so he wouldn’t get stepped on.
I ran to the bathroom quick (what a relief) then back to the screams inside the camper. It seemed Erik was in the back with the kids. I could hear his voice bellowing out among the higher ones. More shrieks — Brea’s voice crescendo-ing to a fever pitch. I slowly walked over to the bedroom door, paused then hesitantly inched the bedroom door open. I had no choice, there were too many blankets, pillows and a mattress in the way. Then I blinked in surprise as Eian went flying off his top bunk bed onto the mattress below where Erik half-caught him and then threw him up onto Breanna’s bed.
“Me next!” Shouted Nuriel as she shoved Abby out of the way.
Abby giggled, “Oh no you don’t,” and she shoved Nuriel right back. Nuriel tripped over Erik’s feet and landed on the mattress. Abby laughed.
No one had noticed me yet. Erik now had ahold of Brea’s ankle and was shouting “I got her by the canckle! I got her by the canckle! Help me E!”
Brea was laughing and shrieking and trying to kick her Dad’s grip. She finally rolled and kicked at the same time and broke loose, only to have Erik lunge and grab her by the calf.
“Jeez Brea! You got some thick legs!” Erik shouted at her.
“It’s not my fault! I’m in soccer,” she giggled because she knew he was partially right . . . if only in comparison to Abby and Nuriel!
I watched the chaos for a bit. I was happy that Erik spent time with the kids – so many Dad’s don’t. Even if he is mostly a kid himself! He definitely had his areas to work on, no doubt. But the kids would always be able to reflect back and remember all these crazy moments of laughter, bruises and good old-fashioned fun. My heart felt warm, for here was everyone getting along if only for a brief moment in the day. This is what we wanted and this was what God was giving us. Family time. No TV’s or video games distracting us. No computers, and no one had smart phones!
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