Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Summer camp...

Summer is right around the corner. I can almost smell it. As proof of this fact, I received the YMCA Summer Camp catalog in the mail today full of wonderfully exciting camp opportunities for school-aged children. I never went to camp as a child. As I read the descriptions of the various camps...ranging from arts and crafts camp to horseback riding camp to plain old nature camp...I had visions of happy camp children frolicking in the woods. I immediately thought that camp could be a wonderful experience for Lucas. I envisioned him doing a cannonball off of a dock into a crystal clear lake, roasting marshmallows around a campfire, laughing with new found friends as he sang camp songs, learning the finer points of archery from the young, sun-kissed camp counselors. It sounds dreamy, right?

I looked up from the camp catalog to see Lucas standing in the middle of the living room, decked out in his Ironman halloween costume and a Power Rangers mask, pointing a terribly bent plastic sword at the cat. Yes, that boy needs camp, I thought. "Lucas," I ventured, "What would you think about going to camp this summer?" He looked confused.

"Camp? What's camp?" As these words left his lips, I could see him glance at the brochure catalog in my hand. A sudden realization entered his eyes, followed by a look a complete and utter panic. "No!" he practically screamed. "I don't want to go to camp! No camp!"

"Why not?" I casually asked.

"I don't want to sleep away from my mommas...and my doggie and silky." Lucas' "doggie" is a stuffed animal he received on the day he was born. It is actually one of those musical toys that hang on a crib. You pull the handle and the animal plays music. Lucas' doggie, however, hasn't played music in about five years...and it has no stuffing except in it's head, so it is just this odd limp little blue thing with ears. Lucas has not slept without it a single day in his 7 years of life. "Silky" is a fabric lovey that he also received when he was a baby. It is a 12-inch square of fabric that is white (well...it's not really white anymore) flannel on one side and light blue silk on the other...and it wreaks of sweat and dirt, regardless of how many times we sneak it away to toss it in the washer. He also has never slept without his silky.

I expected this reaction from Lucas at the suggestion of overnight camp. However, I thought perhaps he may be interested in a day camp. "What about a day camp Lucas? A bus would pick you up in the morning. You would go to camp and do all sorts of fun things. Then the bus would bring you home in the afternoon. What do you think?"

"No, mom. I don't want to go. Please don't make me go. No camp!" At this point, he had worked himself into a bit of a frenzy. I was forced to assure him that I would NOT make him go to camp. As a gesture of apology for even bringing up the prospect of camp, I gave the camp catalog to Lucas and let him throw it in the trash can. He noticeably relaxed after the camp catalog was safely in the garbage among the left over mac & cheese and cantaloupe rinds. Lucas may need camp, but it looks like it's not going to be happening this year. I guess that is ok...camp is expensive anyway.


Jennifer said...

LOL! My kids never went to camp.

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