|A camp chair makes a great improv bassinet!|
|It was a beautiful site and we spent lots of time by the river to keep cool and splash with the other kids in camp. Brian and Ari enjoy a swing in our hammock.|
|Our little mimic washes his shirt in the river.|
|The youngest child at the Gathering, Ari slept through the ritual but was painted just the same.|
|Dad has a cuddle while mama has a swim|
|Sleepy smiles in mama's lap|
|All tuckered out in the tent. Thanks to Beth for loaning us a family sized tent and toddler gear for our first family camping experience!|
Going to a Gathering with children was a very different experience to what I've known previously. Normally I'd get out and about a lot more (working in the kitchen, drumming, socializing and dancing after the evening meal circle) but I spent a lot of time at our camp nursing babies and getting them to sleep. There were good things about that too though in that we really connected with the other families and enjoyed making new friends. It wasn't an easy nine days though - some extreme heat (for my Minnesota blood anyway) and some rainy days stuck in the tent proved difficult for me. Not to mention the fact that I had two little people glued to me almost nonstop including a toddler who was ultra clingy, presumably from being in a new environment and still adjusting to life with a sibling. People keep commenting on how brave we are to have taken a newborn backcountry camping but at least at a Gathering, all necessities are taken care of - yummy food twice a day and filtered water for example, so it wasn't as difficult as going it alone would be. Nonetheless, it's good to be home!