Camp Runamuck

What do you do when you live in a place called Camp Runamuck? You keep a white flag ready to wave at a moments notice that’s what! For most of my childrearing years I have tried to maintain a sense of humor, and my way of dealing with the constant state of chaos I desperately tried to control, was to call our home Camp Runamuck. I believe in setting your expectations low in the hopes that you will be pleasantly surprised if they are exceeded!

Years ago, back when I was young enough to try to keep up with the chaos, and back when we only had two kids and one puppy, I remember trying so hard to channel all that energy into something positive and productive. One day in particular, I remember leaving the living room with the kids and dog to go start spaghetti for supper. The natives were getting restless and the only way to handle that was with food, preferably something with pasta!

As I started pulling pots and pans out of the cupboard, I heard a distant roar. Thinking it was a train I continued with my task. I think I yelled something like “Hey kids, settle down in there!” just for good measure since I could not actually make eye contact, and that is a scary thing when you are a mother.

Minutes later, just as the water was starting to boil in the kitchen something’s else started to boil. The noise from the living room kept growing, it sounded like a Nascar race car doing circles in the other room. “Hey, I said SETTLE DOWN!” I hollered over my shoulder.

My husband walked in about then, peeked around the corner and told the kids to stop running in circles around the couch. He quickly returned and started sampling the brownies that were cooling for dessert. “AHHH, that’s what they are doing!” I mentioned to him, the mystery finally solved.

Just then a squeal of delight escaped my 8 year old daughter, followed by a very loud thump and the crash of my son and his frantic yell “that’s ok! I’m alright!”

“What the hell!” roared my husband, as he deftly raced to the other room to investigate. “Now the three of you need to stop running and jumping in here and I mean it!” he sternly lectured.

Apparently, it did not phase them, because my husband had barely returned to the kitchen in search of more brownies and a beer when it felt and sounded like a earthquake hit upstate New York. The old house shuttered. The windows shock. The floor rocked beneath our feet.

“ALRIGHT ENOUGH! Bellowed my husband in a voice new to me. “GET YOUR BUTS IN HERE RIGHT NOW!!!!” he finished impressively. I stopped, dead in my tracks, with the jar of Regu in the air. In a flash, our daughter flew around the corner, her socks hitting the lineolum as she slid to a stop. In a nanosecond our 5 year old son became a blur as he too rounded the corner socks hitting the slippery floor. He shot a timid glance at his sister and quickly fell into line at attention Sound of Music style next to her.

Now this was funny enough, me frozen in mom action with the Ragu jar in the air, my husband, brownie and beer in hand with a grimace frozen on his face, one 8 year old stocking girl, and one 5 year old stocking boy, standing at attention waiting for our dreaded next move, but what was really hysterical was in the next second a 60 pound attention deficit hyperactive fur ball came flying through the air like some kind of Air Bud, his four paws gliding on the floor as if he were sliding into home base. It was then that the dog looked up at my son as he skidded to a stop, eyebrows raised all cockeyed like only a Golden Retriever can do as if asking “Rut Row George, now what do we do?” Jetson’s style.

That moment is frozen in my mind, it sums up everything we stand for as a family, it represents all our personalities perfectly, that is when I came up with the name Camp Runamuck.

My eyes met my husband’s, I could see the corners of his eyes start to crinkle, I could see the twinkle in his hazel eyes. I could hear my heart beating. I could see the desperation in the kids eyes and the excitement in the dogs deep brown eyes. I really think the dog was torn, not knowing if this was a new fun game they were playing or if it was really bad that Dad yelled so loud! I swear the hair on the dog was standing up for all the electricity in the air that moment.

Then suddenly, almost on cue, we all broke into laughter determining once and for all that the parents had no control what-so-ever of the situation!

I have always had a soft spot for the Sound of Music since looking at my own kids lined up, in order and at attention! I was also convinced in that moment that our crazy Golden Retiever honestly believed he was our kid.

I love being a mom!

So my friend, I ask you “what’s next on your list?”

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