Saturday, July 14, 2007

Life is Funny

Just when you think you have it figured out, your children throw a little surprise your way. The "twins" came home from camp, and the one I worried about most had a great time all around. The one I worried about least, had a horrible time. Boo was tired and dirty and weepy when she got home, but her week had been a resounding success. Our 11yo boy on the other hand...not so good. It was his fourth summer at camp, he knew three out of four of his cabin mates well, and his counselor is a trusted and much loved friend. The weather was great, and everything seemed to point toward a wonderful week. But there was one unforeseen, unplanned for problem. A new boy. A new boy with behavioral and maturity issues. A new boy with a foul mouth, and a bad attitude. And if you had asked me, I would have thought that our son would have taken it in stride. It's not like he's not used to having to roll with the punches here at home. But maybe that was the problem. Maybe I assumed he could handle anything, since he rolls so well here. But maybe he was thinking of this as his own little vacation from the stuff he deals with day to day.

Apparently junior boys tend to drop to the lowest level, instead of trying to drag their buddies up to the higher one. Apparently potty humor and disrespect for your counselor is considered cool in some circles. Our son was appalled. Apparently intentionally bombing your team challenges is also considered cool. Our competitive son was livid. Apparently stealing from your cabin mates and lying about it is OK too. Our son was out two weeks of allowance money. This all culminated in our son asking to come home early. Dad said no. Dad reminded him that he would be letting his counselor down, so he took him a bag of chips, and encouraged him to keep up the fight for one more night. And he did...keep up the fight. He ended up in his first physical fight ever. The new boy and he got into it, and spent some time rolling around pulling hair and pinching. Dad said, "That's not what I had in mind son." Our son said, "Dad, I tried to be his friend, but he just wanted to be a jerk."

And Mom knew he must have been pretty unhappy all week. His belongings were intact. Only one pair of socks were missing. He was showered and sweet smelling. His teeth were clean. He even had snack shop money left over. He came home and cheerfully helped unload and sort the dirty laundry, and then politely requested to go take a nap. Poor baby! Where is my dirty, stinky, boy with an attitude? I talked to his discouraged counselor. I tried to let him know, sometimes things just go this way. We agreed thoroughly about one important thing. This baby boy has outgrown junior camp. It was that one last year, that was really one year too many.

But next year is coming, and the twins are already making plans for teen camp. You have to be at least twelve to go. And I have bins and stacks of laundry all over the living room floor, as I get their older brother ready for his stint at teen camp this week. He'll be moving on next year too. He'll be working on staff. I know life is full of surprises, but I have to say...if my 13yo gets into a fight at camp...well, it's just never going to happen. He might blow something up, but he'll never fight.

1 comment:

leisa said...

What a beautiful young man your baby boy sound like. Wish we had camp here, we have copied so much why can't we have camp too? Glad your girl enjoyed herself too.