School is out, and camp is in session. Ahhh, yes. A child’s respite from the rigors of elementary school (hey, show and tell and recess aren’t as easy as we think). Sports, games, swimming, songs, and field trips will fill their summer days. But for me, the best part is the stories they share with me. And not because I’m living vicariously through them. Well, not completely. It’s just seeing how excited they are to tell me things. It’s like a kiddie soap opera: Days of Our Summer, All My Campers, General Craft Camp.
There’s always some kid who brings cool stuff to camp. “Mom, there’s a guy who brings a cell phone to camp. But it doesn’t have batteries, so he can’t call anyone.” Note to self: Must thank that parent.
And once a week, they’ll tell me that there are older girls who think they’re cute. They no longer like this because “cute” is synonymous with small and young. Apparently, they are oblivious to the fact that they are still both.
And there were crushes galore. “Our counselors have a crush on each other and are getting married.” Something tells me the counselors are unaware of this arrangement. And every week, there were details of a new crush.
Oh, and there’s a guy named George who lives in the trees at camp at night. He walks around and tries to eat little kids under 18. Thank you, camp counselors, for guaranteeing an occasional nightmare and keeping my guys out of trees after dark.
And I can’t wait to meet the older camp friend who has a six pack and shows it off daily. That kid is who I have to thank for my boys wanting to do 100 sit-ups a day. I showed my younger son my stomach, and he shook his head in disappointment and told me, “Mom, that’s a one pack.” On second thought, I’m not thanking that kid for nothin’!
Of course, there are naughty words that they’ve heard at camp. It would be hypocritical to get upset because I’m certain they have heard those same words at home once or twice. Maybe three times. The best was when the kids from Canada taught them a bad word in French. I was ready to be proud, but they still got it wrong!
One of the best pieces of intel was about their “secret” fort. They even told me the passwords: “Money Man” and “Astronaut.” It sounded kind of sophisticated in that they had different rankings like Managers and Assistant Managers. My youngest told me he was allowed in because his older brother was a member. Hmm…sounds like nepotism to me. No worries, though, because the counselors found out and put a kibosh on it. Squashing exclusivity? I like that.
Kids don’t always tell you what you want to hear. But to some extent, as parents, we need to hear it. And I hope they don’t stop talking with me. Seriously. Bad language, endless crushes, and six packs? This is so better than Jersey Shore.