Let’s Go Camping

Over the years, from time to time, people have told me they don’t know how Bill and I managed to do all we have done for Shantel. They can’t imagine themselves in the same situation. I have come to realize the secret is, in my opinion, you just have to have a good sense of humor. Shantel has always had a wonderful sense of humor and the ability to “see’ things differently both literally and figuratively speaking. Witnessing her humor has been the source of my strength in many difficult situations. I would like to pause here, from the seriousness of the daily events happening in our lives with the school and family issues, and let you look back with me and experience some of the wonderful joy we shared as well. Hopefully, that will give you the same break and recharge it always gave me as our lives were unfolding. So, let’s stop here for a break and look back at the funny side of it all. Here are a few examples of the humor Shantel gave us over the years:

When Shantel was very young, before she even started school, I was having a particularly challenging day, and Shantel was requiring a lot of attention. I was home alone with her and had already gone through all the activities that normally entertained her for days. She was bored and was not finding anything I suggested fun. She was going from the family room into the kitchen, and ran right into the counter, and hit her head. She began to cry.I picked her up, hugged her and reminded her that she had to keep her hands out so she could “see” where she was going. Finally, after hours of trying, and nothing working, I went into the bathroom; sat on the side of the tub just to have a moment to collect thoughts before I returned to try other methods of entertaining Shantel. As I sat there, enjoying a moment of peaceful quiet in the room, I noticed four little fingers wiggling under the bathroom door. Then I heard Shantel say “Mama, I’m peeking at you”. I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. I opened the door and gave her a big hug and kiss and we went off to play hide and go seek together.

Another time Shantel had to have her tonsils out. Since she was missing some school, her teacher sent her schoolwork home. One project was to decorate a picture of a turkey with items from home. We used some feathers, beans, macaroni, and some candy corn. As she worked, Shantel dropped one of the candy corns on the floor. She heard it hit the tile floor, bent over and picked it up and put it in her mouth. She continued to work and completed the project. As she was getting up to wash her hands, she knocked off the macaroni onto the floor and just kept walking towards the sink. I said, “come back here and help pick this up”. She turned to me and said, “you know I’m blind”. I said, “well, you weren’t blind when you dropped the candy corn. She said “oh, yeah”, and came back to help clean up the mess.

I also recall one evening, during a summer storm, when the power went off and we all decided to go out and sit by the pool since the house was starting to get rather warm. I suggested that Bill and Shantel go ahead of me, as I needed to use the restroom. Shantel said she would wait for me. I said, well, I need to find the flashlight because with the power off the lights don’t work and everything is getting dark. She never missed a beat when she smiled and said “don’t you just hate it when that happens”?

All of Shantel’s humor helped us develop our own special sense of humor that we used to our advantage when necessary. For example: Shantel loved to go camping and would always ask when we could go again. We had a twenty-one foot travel camper that had all the luxuries of home. Bill hit a stretch of time at work one summer when he had to work every weekend for about six weeks making it impossible for us to get away for a camping trip. But, Shantel continued to ask repeatedly when we were going camping…So, I asked Bill to bring the camper out of storage and hock it up in front of the house. Then I told Shantel to get her things she wanted to take camping ready because we would be leaving in one hour. She packed her things, I got snacks and drinks ready and put her in the car. Then, when the camper was all hocked up, Bill drove us to the store to get ice like we always do when we go camping. Then we drove around for a while telling Shantel we were on our way for our camping trip. We drove back to our house, got out of the car and into the camper parked in front of our house and camped overnight right there. We did all the same things we did when we were really camping and Shantel never knew the difference. Bill and I chuckled about our fake camping trip for years!

Moral of the stories…sometimes you just do what you have to do and try not to take life too seriously!

Next: High School!

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Gotham Girl
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 13:34:03

    I love the camping story!! That is way funny and so smart on your part! Ha ha! So love following your journey. xoxo


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