Early on, we established a tradition of the kids taking one night off of Reunion to rest and recover.  In establishing this tradition, I might have let it slip that even the rides are closed–that Thursday is an entirely Kid Free Night all together, not just for the Scroggins Clan.   After hearing that my third grader openly argued with other water balloon soldiers about the fact that bracelets were even available on Thursday night, I do feel a little guilty about my deception.  But, only a little.

Since we don’t have carnival, water balloon, or specific meal time duties on kid free night, it truly is a night to sit and chat with friends–old and new.   Sometimes there are literally Reunions of some kind, and people meet up with old high school and college buddies to hash and rehash the fun times “back in the day.”  Games of cards and dominoes spring up in various cabins, and before we know it, it’s after two in the morning. That’s significant, because now for just the second year in a row, we planned at 2 a.m. breakfast–with bacon, eggs, tortillas–the works.

Now, kid free night is specific to the Scroggins Clan, and a few others who have also been sneaky enough to establish such a tradition.  If I’m honest with myself (and the kids one day), there are still rides turning, games playing, and water balloons flying like any other night.  That was obvious to us last night when we fired up the griddle and kids of all ages seemed to appear at the cabin, holding their little faces outside the screen and hoping for just one piece of delicious bacon.  In no less than five minutes we were hosts to about twenty kids.  Those poor children looked like they were in such need of the breakfast meat, and we really only had enough to throw out to the adults, setting off our guilt meter.  We promised them leftovers, and asked them to return, but as usual, there were zero bacon leftovers.  Next year:  more bacon.

As we finished up the night, one of us noted that Reunion Week is the Longest week of the year-simply because we are awake for so much more of it.  And, it’s true–that 4a.m. bedtime is something else.  There is not other time of year where I consistently and purposefully deprive myself of sleep to enjoy 100 degree temperatures.  But hey, that’s Reunion.