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October 12, 2002 - Saturday
Harry's first morning of the weekend at the cabin was much the same as last year. That's the same Polartek tunic, too. It just fits a little differently. And, it's the same big puddle. That's the same ladder as Harry learned to climb last year, too, but this year he did it often and with apparent ease, both up and down: ease that is for himself, albeit not for any of the adults who happened to be in the room at whatever point he decided to try it. Last year he was much more interested in getting help on the way down. He was the first time this year, too, but it seemed important that he should be confident going up and down if he was going to go up, so I helped him less and only spotted. He learned quickly and never asked again.

Last night was sure different than last year, though, even if we had three very young children trying to sleep in one airy, wooden cabin a year ago as well. Nicole arrived with her mother at about 11:20pm having slept for some three hours on the way up. She'd been to the cabin last year, but I'm betting she didn't remember it much and so the introduction of a virtual new place didn't induce a quick return to sleep. Worse, apparent disillusionment in the dark shortly after we all went to sleep led to discontent all around and for a few minutes all three children were awake and crying at once in the night. Jeremy, being more disoriented than Harry I suspect, stayed up for a very uncomfortable ten minutes or so, maybe more, before finally settling back in. Harry seemed to understand my explanation and tried to go back to sleep.. Still, that wasn't the worst of it.

Nicole looks happy here having a snack with the boys, but she was anything but that from, I'm guessing, about 3:30-4:00am. The wooden walls echoed with strains of an unhappy child, the tension of five uncertain adults, and the fear that the two boys would soon join the chorus. Mercifully, they did not. I heard Harry stir, and lamented the fact that I had failed to explain to him that Nicole, her mother, Uncle Tom, and Aunt Amy would be arriving during the night. I had told him a while ago who would be coming to the cabin, but somehow telling him people would arrive when he was sleeping originally didn't seem so prudent. At 3:00am in the morning as I lay there listening to Harry stir, that information seemed like all that would possibly keep him from complete disorientation, or at least serious concern. I was wrong and he hung together. I don't understand why Jeremy didn't start screaming, but, needless to say, it was a tremendous relief. Still, it was hard to remember the success of last year and why we were trying this experiment again. Fortunately, these mornings at the cabin have a history of early and strong coffee and that can cure many temporary ill-effects of lost sleep. Not too long after that we were off to the puddles and in search of cows, a quest that will have to resume tomorrow.

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