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.