Monday, June 4th 2012
Unhappy Camper

Did I disappear? It felt as if I did.


My phone stopped working (only at home) so I replaced it and then left town without syncing it and then I went somewhere lovely without cell reception and that combined with the lost data on my cell phone created a technological black hole, but in a really good way.


Holycousin and I mowed 10 acres. My stepmom cooked. And cooked. And cooked. And my dad fixed a tractor AND my little craigslist table and we painted a sweet jenny lind bed off white, and then chalk paint blue and distressed the seven thousand spindles and it’s SO CUTE now. Holycousin and I saw a fantastic singer songwriter type and also did not fall for the come ons of the brown eyed cute opening act. (It wasn’t even tempting. Did I make that sound tempting? SO NOT. Don’t touch us, buddy. And we DID notice you were the one who couldn’t sing. We are just too polite to say so.)


Seth-6yr was with Mike. And then a night with my mom. And the other two were off to camp, which was a WHOLE OTHER THING ALL TOGETHER OH. MY. GOSH. CADEN-8YR IT’S A WONDER I SURVIVED YOUR BREAKDOWN.

Caden-8yr. He is incredibly dramatic. And he can be super, super tough. Fantastically funny and smart. And he has the largest, sweetest, genuinely beautiful heart of gold.  Strangers come up to me to tell me that. Regularly. He’s an amazing kid.

It was his first year for camp. Last year he was supposed to go to a little 2 night camp nearby, but then he got a raging ear infection and I think he busted his head open on the dining room table playing Nerf Wars AS ONLY HE CAN and had to get glued back together on Independence Day and it was a mess and he didn’t go to camp.

So it wasn’t PLANNED that his very first time to camp was WAY STINKIN far away and for a whole week. That was not the plan. And yet that’s what happened.

I covered the important stuff early and often.

The Important Stuff:

WRITE YOUR MOMMY. She will hold it against you FOREVER if you don’t, just ask ETHAN-12YR IF YOU DON”T BELIEVE HER.

Also, sunscreen, bug spray, don’t get lost, and be respectful, and be kind to everyone.


I packed them. It took me four hours. They were labeled, organized, prepared, overprepared, prayed over, adored, hugged, kissed, and reminded to write. The night before I gave them to Mike, Caden-8yr LOST IT.


I know you’re wondering.



It wasn’t.

He just saw all the bags, the supplies, the mountains of clothing, the lists, the sharpies, the meetings, and… well. He cracked. He sat in my lap like a scared chihuahua and  I held him. He bawled. For an hour. AN HOUR. He was afraid he’d wander off and get lost. (you won’t.) He was afraid he’d be miserable and stuck there. (i’ll come get you.) That’ll take too long. (I’ll send PawPaw, he lives closer).  I won’t know how to act or what to say and I AM AFRAAAAAAAAID. (he has social anxiety issues. okay. that one is SO my fault.)

He sat in my lap and clung to my neck. He snotted all over me. He trembled and gasped and I prayed and hugged and made Ethan-12yr promise to take care of him in every possible way imaginable and I promised to email the nice lady who would be going with him about every single concern as soon as he went to bed.

The next morning he came over to me, hugged me really tightly, and thanked me. In a serious little voice he said, “You have prepared me very well for camp. Thank you.

He meant it. But still. It sounded as if he were about to go to war.

When he’s dramatic and over the top – which is often – it’s beyond obnoxious.  But when he’s dramatic and over the top and SINCERE – like his breakdown and his gratitude – well, that’s just heartbreaking.


Last I heard, he was perfectly fine at camp. As expected. It was just a journey to GET to that.

(I’m not over that journey yet.)


39 Comments on “Unhappy Camper”

June 5th, 2012
9:29 am

Oh my goodness! I hope he has a wonderful time. And that you’ve recovered by the time he gets home.

June 5th, 2012
11:04 am

First overnight summer camp can be exhausting for parent and child. I bet he loves it, lasts the whole week, and doesn’t want to come home.
The jenny lind bed sounds adorable. I’d love to see some pictures (hint hint).
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June 6th, 2012
2:59 pm

Your time with your Dad and Stepmom and HolyCousin sounds wonderful! I hope Caden-8yr’s time at camp was just as wonderful.

And I’m noticing that capital letters are making a re-appearance in your blogging. I hope that’s a good sign. :)

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