Monday, August 2, 2010

Alone Again (Un)Naturally

Take Two 

Some long-time readers may remember last year's camp debacle in which Gremlin was moved from the camp group containing about 20 of his closest friends and classmates to a group of strangers, due to a clerical error.  This resulted in tears (for both Gremlin and Manic Mommy) and an abrupt end to a week of pre-paid day camp for Grem.

Being a masochist optimist and figuring the PTSD would surely have lessened by now, I signed both Gremlin and HRH up for a week of camp.  I planned ahead this time to ensure they would (a) be together and (b) be with friends. A few weeks ago, Andy and I began introducing the topic.  The boys would be together!  Annabelle, Jack, Sophia, and Abigail would be with them!  It would be different; it would be fun!  I can't understate Gremlin's enthusiasm strongly (weakly?) enough but he didn't say no.

So.  Today was the day!  We arrive at the Boys and Girls Club. Gremlin nearly needs to be physically removed from the vehicle, but is eventually coerced to exit of his own accord. With Gremlin clutching my hand but still moving under his own power, we arrive at the basketball court meeting area where the kids are divided into groups by age.  HRH joins his group with barely a goodbye. As promised, Grem is with Jack and Sophia! 

I introduce Gremlin and myself to the 12 year old counselor and explain Gremlin's reticence due to last year's fiasco.  She is mildly interested but is thrown off course by a very enthusiastic camper eager to tell her all about his trip to Water Country yesterday; "Everyone there was fat!" He's right of course, fat people are drawn water parks much as flies are to roadkill.  "And there were lots of Mexicans!" Awesome, let's check to make sure the altar boy from the Westboro Baptist Church isn't in our group.  He is not!  Amen!

As the milling becomes more focused, Gremlin realizes I'll be departing soon.  I seize upon a happy, playing Jack (a seasoned camper, our next door neighbor, and Gremlin's closest buddy) and ask him how much fun he has at camp.  Response?  "I hate camp!  Camp is stupid!  Annabelle's friend hit me!"  Totally awesome.  I block Gremlin's ears as Jack's mom quickly pulls him away. 

My knight in shining armor arrives in the form of a 13-ish year old junior counselor who came along asking to be Gremlin's buddy, asked to sit next to him in circle, and knows everything about Star Wars.

Gremlin's two armed death grip around my thigh loosens.  I repeat that I love him and I'll be back. That I wouldn't sign him up if I didn't think he'd have fun.  That all I want is for him to try.  And that if he does try...I'll buy him the Lego X-Wing Fighter...and...I...left...

** Full Disclosure; after I (physically) separated from Gremlin, I spoke to one adult counselor then found the director of the program to go into Gremlin's situation in exquisite detail, going so far as to describe his and his big brother's bathing suits for easy identification.  Then I hid behind a door and watched for a while. I gotta be me.


Otter Thomas said...

I imagine that is probably pretty tough. Good for Gremlin for soldiering through even if only for Star Wars toys.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

So fantastic that there was a knight in shining armor!

sitting on the mood swing at the playground said...

I hope they came home with good stories...a knight/counselor who knows Star Wars?? I'm sure that was worth the price of camp alone.

I love that you hid behind a door.

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

So? Did they have fun or not?

Andrea said...

Chris, you gotta relax! How awesome they are so fortunate to go to a camp. Where people are paid to make sure they have FUN! And where you don't have to do anything but drop them off. This is truama? Oy, give me Zanax...


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