Grady ‘s Cub Scout Troop had their final camping trip this weekend. Since we weren’t able to make any of the other trips, we decided to go for it.
We packed up the the tent, lawn chairs, SPF, bug spray and prosecco and headed to Oleta National Park in North Beach Miami.
It was a beautiful HOT day. The kids were climbing trees, playing tag and throwing frisbees. My favorite part was kayaking through the mangroves. Gorgeous.
Then at 7 PM I got a mosquito bite. No worries. I came prepared with deet—the dangerous kind. The one most parents wouldn’t dare spray on their kids. But I’m not most parents. I’m the kind of mom that will risk a mild brain disorder to avoid itching.
However, by 7:30 PM I was itching all over the place. The deet wasn’t working. I was smacking my face and arms and legs and ass like a flogger. I wanted to leave but how could I break my kids’ hearts? They were so excited to be camping with their friends and we hadn’t even roasted marshmallows yet. Must. Be. Strong.
At 8 PM I told Jason I was going to sit in the tent. The bugs were eating me straight through the deet.
I scrambled into the tent and zipped it back up as fast as humanly possible. It was getting dark so I turned on a lantern. That’s when I saw it—like the luminescent blood splatter on the walls of a murder scene—there were hundreds of thousands of teensie weensie tiny bugs lining the inside of our tent. Noseeums. And they were out for blood.
Seconds later, the tent zipper opened and Grady and Annie Bea dove in for protection.
Grady: I don’t care about the s’mores. Let’s get out of here!
You know it’s an emergency when the kids are willing to forgo s’mores.
So I grabbed my car keys and my cell phone and screamed for Jason, “Get your insulin! We’re leaving!”
While the other campers were eating dinner and telling stories around the fire, you could see The Levines sprinting through the woods with lanterns, jumping in the car and peeling out on two wheels before the park gate locked us into hell.
We didn’t take down the tent. We didn’t pack our bags. We left coolers and towels and shoes. Everything was left behind. We just ran for our lives while scratching and smacking our faces.
Can’t wait to see the Cub Scout badge they come up with for us.
Troop Leader: Levine Family, you have earned the Wilderness Spaz badge.
Just in case you think I’m exaggerating: