“How did the Easter Bunny know to hide our eggs way out in the desert?” Sophie asked.


We had a good time, camping with 40 people in the desert. But new groups make me nervous, so I had even more questions than Sophie.

When raiding your family’s candy-stash, in order to stuff treasures into the plastic eggs for the group’s hunt, would you put left-over Hannukah gelt into an Easter Egg? Why do we still have candy-canes in our cupboard, anyway?

Then, when you arrive after a two-hour drive, if the group wants to go hiking but you haven’t yet fed lunch to your family, do you go hiking?

What is the kindest way to ask a stranger’s child to stop scratching at ancient Native American petroglyphs?

When you discover that each of your model-rocket launches delights 20 children while sending 4 others into absolute hysterics, should you stop launching those rockets?

When you find children (including your own), pouring whole bottles of spices into an applesauce-dirt-and-pepper mixture intended for the Easter Bunny, how hard should you try to track down the original owner of those spice bottles?

Don’t they look peaceful, not like spice-stealers at all?

Etiquette-wise, if the family camping next to you is dealing with 3 children screaming in deep-panic full-on-tantrum mode at bedtime, should you intervene? Is there any way to help that won’t make the situation worse? What about after an hour? Two hours? By the third hour?


Then, when your infant wakes up at 3 a.m. ready to play, delighted by the moon and the tent-roof and the thbbpppbbppp noise he can make with his tongue, not to mention the swooshing noise he can make every time he slaps a sleeping bag, how do you possibly get back to sleep? We call this mood Everett’s “party in the crib” mood, and it’s honestly hard to resist joining in his party, especially if his crib is not in a separate room.


Really, most of the weekend was great.

In the happy pictures of the weekend, I think you probably can’t tell I was constantly hoping for an etiquette coach.

Here’s part of the group of 40, walking to the Easter Egg hunting grounds.




Happy Easter, every one.


3 responses to “Questions

  1. Anonymous

    my input – when your concerns are preventing you from having a good time, ask someone you know.

    I could have answered some of these questions 🙂 parents of unhappy rocket launching kids confirmed rocket launching should proceed. spice owning parents (one of whom was me) OK’d the experiment. it’s “whatever goes” for egg filling. the overall feeling with this group is that we don’t bring anything of value and expect it to come home in one piece, and unless bodily harm is a likely outcome or the behavior is clearly not acceptable (like scratching a petroglyph) we try and let the kids just run amok. We came home one shade structure and one stomp rocket down, but go back year after year because we love it.

    • elewinnek

      Hee hee. Another spice-owning parent, it turned out, had no idea her spices were being poured into a hole in the ground — but, you’re right, it wasn’t a big deal. And almost everything is fine. I chose not to use the Hannukah gelt because five-month-old candy, melted in the desert heat, just didn’t seem appealing to me. I was mostly amused at my own questioning, not paralyzed.

      I don’t want to be one of those mom-bloggers who write: “Everything is absolutely terrific all the time! Look at my perfect life!” But I don’t want to write like Eeyore, either. It’s a balance that’s hard to strike, to write honestly & with humility, without giving the false impression of moping. I did have a good time (despite sleeplessness), and that good time included laughing at myself.

      • Anonymous

        oh, good, that explanation helps. I just read that and felt sad that you were worried about all these things instead of enjoying yourself!

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