Hello, Muddah… Hello, Faddah… Here I Am At… Camp Granada…

I don’t know what to say, because it’s like I don’t even know myself any longer.  My firstborn graduates from elementary school on Friday, and, three days later, I load him and half of his worldly possessions into the Suburban, and I drive him to camp.

To camp.

Where I have left him for an entire week.

Who is this woman?  Because leaving my boy for a week in a place where he could be devoured by a bear / fall into a river / touch a peanut with his allergy is completely unlike me.  I think we can all blame Hubs, who announced with a voice that pretty much resembled a dictator, “The boy is no longer nursing.  He can go to camp.”

Um, Hubs?  What about the bears / mountain lions / peanuts / girls at this camp??  Because did I mention?

CO-ED.

The honest truth is, my friend Christy and I (with a big push from both of our husbands) signed our boys up for camp over a month ago.  It’s church camp, after all, and we were convinced that they would be more interested in getting a spiritual word than they were with starting small fires with magnifying glasses or washing their faces enough so that a girl would sit up and take notice of them and their ability to maintain good hygiene.

The boy took deodorant, people.  I blame his cousins for this, who announced that YES and INDEED!  At the ages of 11 and 12, THEY wear the Axe deodorant.  And then there was the puberty video that the boy was forced to sit through at school two weeks ago, which discussed THE EVER CHANGING BODY, which basically stated, “Listen up, boys.  Wear your deodorant, because boys don’t always smell fresh.”

I’d like to say that the boy hemmed and hawed about going, and that he wanted to just hang out at home with his mama, but really?  He has been crossing the days off on his calendar until camp started, and he was so thrilled to go, he bounced out of bed this morning grinning from ear to ear.

We packed 9 pairs of socks for one week of camp, because that’s honestly all the socks that the boy owns that were CLEAN.  Mama has had some busy in her life this week, and the laundry wasn’t party of all the busy.  I’m hoping that he manages to keep at least one pair dry all week to prevent his feet from molding in damp socks.

Christy and I packed 4,000 pounds’ worth of camping cargo into the back of my Suburban.  I am quite certain that Hubs would have been horrified by our packing strategies, because listen.  Hubs packs with a mental blueprint on which suitcase / bag / giant box will fit WHERE.  Hubs’ trunks and tailgates look like a set of intricately laid building blocks, and everything fits precisely.  Christy and I used the packing method called THROW THAT IN THE BACK OF THE SUBURBAN!  IF IT DOESN’T FIT, PUT SOME MUSCLE INTO IT AND SHOVE HARDER!  WE HAVE TO GET TO STARBUCKS BEFORE WE LEAVE!  HURRY!  HURRY!  HURRY!

And then, while our boys chattered on about super heroes, which super heroes could be beaten up by other super heroes, Lego creations, hitting full soda cans with an aluminum baseball bat, and which snake on this planet packs the biggest bit of killer venom, Christy and I slurped our chai teas and discussed how to get our families on a budget, life with babies, summer schedules with children, and how much to pay an 11 year old for mowing an entire lawn.

She and I really don’t care that Ironman could probably lay the smack down on Superman.

After we had driven for more than an hour, but which only felt like fifteen minutes, because OH MY!  THE TIME FLIES WHEN YOU’RE DISCUSSING HAIR STYLES AND HOW YOU CAN SAVE MONEY ON YOUR GROCERY BILLS, we made it to camp and got the boy and Gage checked in.

The boys immediately signed up for archery and wall climbing for activities this afternoon, and they examined the contents of the camp store, because THEY HAD BROUGHT SOME DOLLARS TO SPEND THERE.

I cannot wait to see what trinkets the boy comes home with, which will end up shoved into his closet, because of HOARDER TENDENCIES.

The boy’s cousin, M, is also signed up for camp this week.

M is cute enough that I had to hug and smooch him goodbye when we left, too, right after I hugged and smooched my own punk.

The boy and Cousin M and Gage found out that they were all in the same cabin.

They all picked their beds, which is to say that they were the first ones there, and they stole the top bunks, because why?  Why would you sleep on a bottom bunk which requires no ladder climbing, when you can sleep up close to the rafters and the cobwebs?

They all had a blast unrolling their sleeping bags and setting up their base camp, as Christy and I rattled on about DO NOT PUT WET TOWELS IN YOUR DUFFEL BAGS WITH YOUR DRY CLOTHES and IF YOU DON’T BRUSH YOUR TEETH EVERY SINGLE DAY, WE WILL BEAT YOU WHEN YOU ARRIVE BACK HOME and OH MY WORD!  WE LOVE YOU!

I fully expect that the boy will bring home a bag full of mildewed clothing, because he’ll drop his wet towel right in there on top.  He pretty much just nodded with a blank stare on his face as I gave him his lists of things to do to make sure he survives the week.

I wanted to quote the movie The Last of the Mohicans

“Stay alive!  I will find you!”

Gage’s younger brother, Deed, jumped into a shot with the big boys, as well as a fellow that the boy knows from school.

And then we couldn’t resist a cute snapshot of Deed playing at the creek.  He was powerfully disappointed that he isn’t old enough to go to camp this week with the big boys!

After our boys were all settled in, Christy and I ran into our friend, Jodi, who was bringing her daughter, Ciara, to camp with a couple of her close friends.

Because of that little word CO-ED.

Ciara’s little sister, Leah, hammed it up for the camera.  I’m head over heels in love with that little Chinese pumpkin.

When the boy sighed with relief because he was done having to pose for pictures WITH GIRLS, he raced back to his cabin, where we ran into our friend, Sierra.  Sierra was bringing her boys, Seth and Luke, to camp.  The boy has known Seth and Luke since… um… BIRTH.  He was plum thrilled to hear that they’d ALL gotten into the same cabin.

The boy knows everyone in his cabin, which was some blessed luck.  Christy, Sierra and I told their counselor, “Um… good luck.  Because with this batch of boys, you’re going to experience a week like you ain’t never had before in all your years.”

Counselor Waldo said, “Bring it!  I am so ready for these boys!  This group ROCKS!”

And those were words that any mother wants to hear, so Christy and Sierra and I just smiled and said, “Thank you, Jesus, for getting all of our boys together.”

And then we told Counselor Waldo that if any of them come home liking girls, we will find him.  And he pretty much won’t be alive.

So yes.  Hubs and I are home alone this week with Thing 2, and it’s not every baby who can pull off the fashion statement of wearing a dishtowel on your head.

We’ll collect the boy from camp next weekend, and I’ll tell y’all about his adventures.

I imagine the biggest adventure that I’ll have is his filthy laundry when he comes back!

Happy Monday night, everyone.

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