Max and I just came home today from a 2-day camping trip. It was Max's first official cub scout pack camp out. I don't go camping very often and since I didn't come from a family that did any camping nor was I involved in girl scouts or anything like that then when it comes to camping I am an absolute klutz. Scott was joining us on this camp out. He hasn't had the chance to do too much with Max or his cub scout activities so I thought I would be nice and invite him along. That was a month ago when we were still speaking to each other. The last two weeks have been extremely tense because I have finally started to put my foot down on certain things and Scott blew up in my face. Asshole. He yelled at me and berated me for a number of things and I finally told him via e-mail that I had no desire to speak to him ever again. I tried to get out of the camping but MAx really wanted both of us to go. Fine. We went. On the conditions that Scott and I would speak only when absolutely necessary.
My bank accounts are both cleaned out. My credit card is maxed out. I went to Wal-Mart on Friday to try and buy at least a nice tent for me to sleep in. Scott was bringing his own tent and gear for him and Max. But I was not about to sleep in the same tent with my ex-husband. My credit card was rejected at the check-out counter. I had only about $20 left in my savings account. I went back to the sporting goods aisle and bought an $8 child's Star Wars themed dome tent. The check-out lady couldn't pull it up in her computer so she only charged me $4 for it. Max wanted to sleep in his Star Wars tent but I told him that no the big treat was for him to sleep in the big tent with his dad. So I slept in a tiny kid's sized tent with Darth Vader staring me down all night. It's a good thing I'm so short. I could easily stretch out in it if I slept diagonally with my head and toes pointing in the corners.
It was bitterly cold this weekend. I froze my ass off even though I brought plenty of blankets and thick sweat shirts and pants and socks to sleep in. It was not enough. I think I slept about two hours each night. The rest of the night I shivered and trembled with cold. Plus the racoons got into our food and wiped us out of our bread, ham, and cheeses. Those fat camper fed racoons have no fear of humans anymore. They'll come in the night and destroy your campsite. The other families with kids in the scout pack took pity on us and shared some of their food with us. It was ridiculous. No food, freaking cold, and not even enough change to buy snacks or sodas from the machines. I feel like I am living some poverty tale straight out of Dickens.
The kids all had fun though. We hiked, went through the Nature Center, petted baby alligators and milk-snakes, and then last night we took a tour of the George Observatory. It was too cloudy for us to see anything through the telescope but we got to check out the scope and talk to the astronomers that run the facility. We saw a half-hour film on Mars and learned some great facts about our solar system and galaxy. The kids all worked hard towards their various activity belt loops and had a great time making smores and playing with the camp fires. The parents were worn out. When I wasn't around Scott and talking to the other parents they kept asking if my husband was going to want hot chocolate or what did he do for a living. I didn't even bother to correct them. What's the use of going through such a long, complicated, explanation of how long we were married, why we divorced, and what we were even doing camping together?
My parents thought I was crazy for even going on this camp out. We have all this drama in our relationship, we scream and fight, and then we're camping together. But how do you explain the intricacies of a marriage? It's hard to do. Well the same applies for a divorce. For the most part Scott and I have managed to tolerate each other and do things together for Max's sake. The surface looks like a normal family. But surfaces lie. Especially surfaces were you can't see the bottoms because the tops are so dark. If anyone had observed us closely they would have seen that I slept in a different tent. In fact of all the families there we were the only ones with two tents. They would have seen that Scott and I never sat together, we barely spoke to each other, and unless we were doing things together as a group such as the hike, the Nature Center, or the Observatory, we were not around Max at the same time. In fact I took a nap yesterday afternoon and Scott and Max went exploring. Then Scott took a nap and Max and I went on a longer hike in another part of the park. It's come to this now. Cold and hard. Max is getting older now and he is starting to see things as they are. He likes it when we are all together but eventually he will realize that it will be better when he spends his time with his dad on their designated times. The tension won't be so obvious.
It saddens me really because I do still care for Scott. Despite all the shit he did to me I would never wish him ill thoughts. But it's impossible to maintain any type of relationship with him any more. It's a constant fight with him to get him to see that he treats me so unfairly. All I want is for him to one day admit he's the jerk, that he fucked it all up with me, and that he was wrong. That will never happen of course. The sun will explode before he ever admits he's wrong. And I have my pride too. That's why no matter how cold and cramped I was I prefered to sleep with Darth Vader than with him in the roomier, cozier tent. The camping trip was fun but exhausting both physically and emotionally. I will never camp in such frigid temperatures again. And I think next time I can handle a camping trip on my own with Max.