Day Two [Sweet & Sour Attitudes and Gratitudes]

by - August 1, 2013

{click here to read about our first day}

Time is different here.  Bedtime comes later and morning breaks weary and hidden beyond the curtains that mock our quarters with a feeling of predawn.  We stumble out and no one has ever had to use the bathroom more urgently - even with the (unfortunate) midnight sleepwalk pee that had me scrubbing a cabin floor and rinsing out pajamas at 12:30 in the morning.

Leave it to that middle one - that one hung between - to spread his heady grump out like peanut butter on toast.  Foot stomp.  Arms crossed.  Teeth clenched.  "WHY CAN'T I JUST PLAY IN THE PARK?!?  I JUST WANT TO PLAY IN THE PARK!!!!"  Because why should I ever suggest that while at Family Camp we spend any time together as a family???  Maybe me wanting a few moments to just be together is stupid.

He's wild and dirt spreads across his face like a proud tattoo of childhood and I've never seen fingernails more dirty.  "Let's try that again," I say after we've said grace and I've piled their plastic plates with crock-pot chicken and rice.  "Hey guys, after dinner I'd like to go for a walk together..."

He stirs his rice and picks at his drumstick.  "Where?" he asks and he grabs a cucumber from the red colander.

"Maybe we could go to the back field today," I suggest.  "There used to be a path back there."

"O...kay...and then we can play at the park?"

"And then you can play at the park," I assure him.  "Eat your chicken."

"This is disgusting!"

Sweet, sweet boy.

"No chicken.  No tuck."

"Well, I'm getting ice cream."

No chicken.  No ice cream."


He eats his chicken.

We go for our walk and find a fort built out in the woods.  Levels and ramps and tools left lying around.  He runs along a balance beam.  "I like it at camp," he says.  "We should always come to camp."

He wears tired like a badge in the heavy bags under his eyes and the way the blue of his iris' seem to reflect on the skin beneath like his own sky and sea.  "But, I'm not even tired," he said when I insisted on a half hour of quiet time after lunch.

"But you are, dear boy," I said as I slipped out to shower in the few minutes I could (hopefully) trust him to stay put.

Now it's so, so late and feet are as heavy as they are dirty but there's still the talent show.  And the ice cream.  And he did eat his chicken.

He takes his shiny looney and he marches against his weary and presents that ice cream lady with his coin and accepts his cone piled high with blue and pink like a trophy.  And sugar spins through his blood and his hair and his eyes are popped wide with a second wind and he sits in those hard, hard pews and claps his sticky hands through each and every talent.

We wash but aren't really clean.  They are tucked in tight and neat and hugs and kisses and Chapter Two of Percy Jackson (which is a little bit creepy but 'totally awwwesome!')

"Mommy, I'm not even tired."

"Yes, you are!"

"I'm not even tired a little bit.  I'm never going to sleep again, EVER!  I'm going to be awake all night!"

"Okay," I say.  "I love you.  Sleep good."

And I turn out the light.

{click here to read more about our camp experience}

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  1. Although my children are grown and gone, I thoroughly enjoyed this post. It is sooooo true.


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