I Wonder – Hal Goes To Church Camp

The kids are off to summer camp this week. It’s Hal’s first time and he’ll be there all week – at age six. That’s a little younger than the camp usually allows for all week attendance but the half-day camps weren’t the same week as Jane’s and he’s only 3 months too young and I really didn’t want to make the drive twice. And the camp is small and accommodating.

So they are off to camp. Daryl is in the same small cabin as Hal, just on the other side, and Jane’s cabin is across the road. They’ll see each other at meals and probably a lot of other times during the day. Like I said, it’s a small camp. I hope frequent contact with each other is a good thing, not bad. I’m a little worried because Hal’s counselor said that Hal’s group is all at the older end of the age range. I hope they don’t exclude him or find him obnoxious. I have little hope that he’ll brush his teeth or change his underwear, but I guess that’s part of it.

When we were packing for camp, I noticed that the suggested packing list didn’t include pajamas (or shirts or underwear, but I digress). So I told Hal, who usually sleeps in just his underwear, to go get some. I went into his room to help and saw him grabbing his winter fleece alien pajamas.

“Oh, no, Hal,” I said, “you can’t take those to camp! It’s summertime and you’ll be in a cabin and it’s way too hot. Let’s take your summer minion pajamas.”

He clutched the PJ’s to his chest and said in the most pathetic, plaintive voice he could muster, “But someone that I care about very much gave these to me and I really want to take them with me to remember them!”

“Hal, I gave you those pajamas.”

Without missing a beat, he said, “And I care about you very much!”

“Well, that’s good. I gave you the minion pajamas too, so we should be good.”

He wasn’t happy but knew he’d lost the battle. I fully expect to hear all about how the air conditioner in the cabin was run on high and he was freezing all night because I wouldn’t let him take his alien pajamas.

I wonder if he’ll even remember that he has pajamas. I wonder if he’ll be comfortable changing clothes in front of those other boys. I wonder if the counselor will make sure he wears sunscreen. Or his hat. I wonder if he’ll remember to put his dirty clothes in the bag we gave him for that purpose. I wonder if he’ll wash his hair or just stand in the shower. I wonder, I wonder, I wonder.

Funny, I don’t remember wondering this much about the other two their first week at camp. Am I getting old? Or is this just the way it is with the baby of the family? I wonder.

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8 thoughts on “I Wonder – Hal Goes To Church Camp

  1. I remember my own first trips to camp, and my own first overnighters. I think I was about Hal’s age when I started at overnight camp. My mom had to come out to comfort me the first evening, but I found my balance after that. 🙂

    • I remember going to church camp once but couldn’t gauge how old I was – maybe 11ish? Seems like I went to CampFire camp but can’t remember if it was a Day Camp or overnight. My memory sucks… which is why it’s a good thing I blog. 😉

  2. Okay, so first of all, my son once went on a 3 day science field trip with his camp. I packed for him but then went through everything he packed with him so he’d know exactly what he had. Now it was a few years ago, but I remember that he didn’t listen to a word I said and pretty much ended up wearing the same thing every day, including underwear, and complained he was cold but never thought to wear the sweater I had packed.

    My daughter, is my youngest and she will always be my baby. My kids have an almost 5 year age difference, but I know that when my daughter was born I had to start giving my son responsibilities like if I could only hold one hand while crossing the street, it would have to be my daughter’s…things like that. Now, my daughter is 8 and I still treat her like the baby in so many ways and I’m sure by the time my son was 8, all that was out the window!!

    • When I tried to go through the contents of Hal’s suitcase once we were at camp, he was like “I know mom, I know mom” and not even looking at me or the suitcase. So, yeah.

      Hal is 5 years younger than Daryl and 8 years younger than Jane. It’s an interesting (difficult, challenging) dynamic. In some ways, he gets babied more – probably because there’s 4 of us ‘parenting’ him. In other ways, he’s allowed to do stuff the others weren’t allowed to do at the same age.

      What’s intriguing me today is how much I’m worrying about him. I’m not that kind of mom. I’m more of a “See ya! Have fun! Good riddance! Yay! Some kid-free time! Woo-hoo!” kind of mom.

  3. I had to LOL!! My youngest grandson just left for boot camp. I keep wondering how he is doing. Has he been in trouble because he can’t bounce a quarter off his bunk? Has he figured out how to fold his clothes so they are correct in his footlocker? Does he miss us, and so on. He is missed by so many of us at home but I would just like to be a fly on the wall and get to watch how things are going. If I had the chance I would definitely call, so I think you should.

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