The dance camp


My family and I went to a dance camp last weekend.

I know, we were good. Or so many people told me when I mentioned it to them. But we would finally find out exactly how good we were at the camp itself. And no, it has nothing to do with dancing, as one would think.

As in any (healthy) marriage and family life, there are times when the grunt meters are a little in the red. The run up to this camp was one of those times for us.

No parent needs me to tell you how busy this term has been. Listening to friends and family like this, things at work weren’t much calmer either. So the closer we got to the camp weekend, the more anxious we got at home.

At first the camp really sounded like a good idea. A little away, a little something else, a little together. But of course life does not work as one plans it and it is precisely then when our patience with each other is not always what it should be.

The peak of nothing wanting to work out began on Thursday night, but it wasn’t a quick peak that was reached and then leveled off. Unfortunately, it lasted until Saturday. At first I couldn’t get the trailer from my father. Then my husband got a call for an urgent matter that he had to deal with. In between, the load shedding and traffic is an eternal reality, forms and e-mails that pop up timely and untimely outside of normal work and/or computer time, and the hours and minutes that just don’t want to cooperate at all.

I finally had to decide. Our turns are just too long and the children also work for their Voortrekker badges at the weekend. They will have to start without us. So I am on Friday, children in the care of the Voortrekker officers together with the rest of the campmates, on my way back home to try to create order in the chaos.

Between my husband’s consultation and my packing, we were finally able to get away on Saturday afternoon to join the children; already ten minutes late for the hour of folk games incorporated into the program – something we didn’t want to miss for several reasons.

That’s how we went in our silver danger. Tent in (children sleep in dormitories, but parents who want to camp together must sleep in tents), camp beds, cool box (without ice – I still wanted to garage stop), suitcase, bath bag and pillows on the back seat. Now, after the normal challenges that the Molotopad offers one, we are going to dance.

This ride was a bit tight. The normally loving hand on the leg not exactly at home or comfortable and the talk very little. But finally we are there.

I still marvel at everything that happened from there. Maybe it was the concentration on the passions, to try to understand and learn something together, or to be able to play again like when we were in high school… I don’t know, but from the folk dance circuit, anxiety and tension slowly added to each passion. kicked out the feet and began to make room for adventure.

Here and there there were a few more convulsions before the tension finally took its course. My husband had to miss the camp’s dinner to go buy ice and soft drinks, and at least was able to get food for himself while I had to set up the tent in the middle of a threatening storm and lightning bolts in the distance.

In my busyness with my handiwork, another reality hits me: I forgot the sleeping bags and mattresses for the camp beds! It is at this point where I just gave up. I could only laugh. And so we continued to participate in the program laughing. Waltzed and polkad, and tried really hard to memorize passions.

Between the one blanket, jackets, tight pants and towels we armored ourselves against a cold night.

However, it’s like one of those commercials: but wait, there’s more… The car key went missing sometime on Sunday morning before breakfast. My logic told me it couldn’t be gone. We weren’t going anywhere then. And luckily my husband drives with the spare key with him and my key is always in my handbag. There was no time to search, it must be in a suitcase somewhere and we will look at home.

However, the search yielded no results (except for my husband’s penknife which I forgot in the tent). Even the site manager couldn’t locate it at our campsite. Then we got the call: while the bins were being emptied, they found it in one bin.

I was speechless, but I immediately realized: the youngest went to get something from the car and then immediately threw away a garbage bag…

It was the perfect end to the weekend. The tangle of emotion, tension and the confusion that went with it, and how it was turned into an adventure and campfire story. How surrendering, unlike giving up, makes everything bearable and allows you to enjoy every moment.

You won’t believe it, but this weekend did wonders for our marriage. We had to play together, learn together, struggle together and manage things together. We got cold together but pulled out each other’s souls and laughed at each other. If ever I got confirmation about attitude, it was this weekend.

Fun, adventure and togetherness; it is definitely a weekend we will never forget!