Adventure Time

July 29th, 2014

Preparing for first time at camp with help from fictional friends.

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The Littlest Who went to his first sleep-away camp on Sunday afternoon. He’s watched his brothers go before him, three years running, and he says he’s ready.

“We won’t be able to call each other,” I reminded him, when he declared it, back in the spring. Our last significant separation, a year before, was difficult. A heart wrenching, tearful telephone call, the long, anxious hours until I got home. “You might get homesick.”

“I might,” he allowed. “But I’ll get over it.”

Definitely ready. It’s a long way from nine years old to ten.

When he accompanied me a few weeks ago to drop his brother off at camp, he was unusually quiet as we walked away from the cabin, his blue eyes wide and solemn. I knew he must be picturing me walking away without him.

“Let’s walk around a bit,” I said. I pointed out the various buildings, the swimming pool, the chicken yard, the astonishing view.  We ended our tour in the stone chapel that looks over the cliffs to the river valley below. “You’ll be like Harry Potter going to Hogwart’s for the first time,” I told him. “You’re going to love this place more than you know.”

He brightened up right away. Isn’t it good how stories can give us a frame of reference for situations we’ve never experienced before?

Even the cartoon kind. On departure day, he emerged from his room dressed as Finn, from Adventuretime, wearing the hat I knit for Halloween before last, and sporting an empty green backpack “just for looks.” Ready for adventures. The first of which was getting manhandled by big brothers. 

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When we pulled into the camp parking lot, he took his props off and left them in the car, their purpose presumably served. As was mine, clearly, as soon as he found his bunk, and was surrounded by friendly cabin mates. I managed to get one more hug and one more picture before I left him, ready to be the hero of his own story.

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I can’t wait to hear it.

3 Responses to “Adventure Time”

  1. marilee pittman says:

    Sweet boy.

  2. Where’s the camp? It’s a great thing that you and he won’t be able to call. He’ll be able to be fully present that way.

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