The boys and I have been on a tour of Texas the past week and a half. We have another week and a half to go. We started in Dallas house hopping between a couple of our friends there. We had loads of fun swimming, watching movies and laughing so much that my abs hurt.
We are presently in the Houston Area. This first week I had signed the boys up for a day camp with their friends. There would be zip lines, fishing, archery, BB gun...ning (?), swimming, horseback riding and paint ball. Basically, there would be non-stop fun! The boys were so pumped for camp that Sunday night they couldn't sleep. We had to be at the bus pick up location by 7:30 a.m. Monday morning strated rough but the boys quickly kicked it in to gear when they remembered that it was Camp Day!
My mom and I drove the boys to the Pick Up and loaded them on to their bus with back packs full of bottled water, sunscreen, and dry clothes all labeled with their names. As the bus fired up and began to pull out of the parking lot I did my Happy Dance. (Little bit of The Sprinkler, some Cabbage Patch, The Pony and the like.)
"You may want to wait to do that when the bus is out of sight," Mom suggested, worried that the boys may have seen my little celebration.
"Pfft. I'm in the Dance Ensemble. Let's get breakfast!"
We rounded up another girlfriend of mine who had sent her kids to camp with mine and headed to yummy breakfast cafe. After breakfast mom and I shopped in a plaza style shopping mall. While walking about I began to make note of the oppressive heat. I've grown up in Houston. I'm no stranger to the heat and humidity down here. It's the kind of heat that you never acclimate to. It mattered not that I used to play in the streets all summer in this Hell Heat. The 10 months I've lived in Colorado have softened me to this weather. I immediately started to worry about my sons who would be playing outside from 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
That evening I picked them up. They stood by the bus, shoulders sagging, burnished and bronzed by the sun. They moved slowly, their limbs wieghted with exhaustion.
"Hey guys! How was it?"
"It was a torture chamber," moaned Gabriel.
"I need ice water! I need ice water!" Drew whined.
Once in the car I asked them to tell me of their day one at a time.
"First we went out to play on this thing called The Blob. It's on the lake and you...." I honestly don't know what it is but bouncing and splashing are involved.
"That sounds fun!"
"It looked fun but I never got on it because the line was too long. I just stood in a line in the scorching heat watching the other kids get wet."
He went on to share about fishing where he didn't catch a fish, swimming, the zip line, lunch ("which was the only time we were in air conditioning!"), and archery.
"And mom, I know you don't like when I do this so I am sorry if this makes you angry but I want to quit."
"Yeah...not happening. How about you Drew? Tell me about your day?"
"It was PATHETIC! What does 'pathetic' mean?"
He enjoyed The Blob, but fishing was a bust ("I'm terrible!"), swimming, archery ("I'm terrible!") and lunch ("It was corn dogs and french fries!!!")
"Well, I understand that there was a lot you did not enjoy and that it was very hot..."
"Screaching hot!" Drew added.
"...screaching hot...but I would like to know what part you did like and what you look forward to tomorrow."
"LUNCH!" Drew shouted, "And tomorrow we get to paintball! They won't let us shoot each other though. Only targets. But I don't want to go tomorrow."
"How about you Gabe?"
"The thing I liked most was lunch because it was air conditioned and the thing I most look forward to tomorrow is Going Home."
"No. What activity at CAMP do you most look forward to."
"When they tell us its time to go home."
"Paintball. Though it's lame that we only get to hit targets."
The rest of the evening my friend Lesley, who was hanging with us that night, and I spent our time encouraging the boys to have good attitudes at camp. Les reminded them of Robin Hood and how cool archery was.
"That's OK that you didn't do well today Drew because it was the first time. You will get better every day!"
By the end of the night Drew was asking for archery lessons and was sure he would do better, like Ms. Lesley said. We prayed for cooler weather and then both boys went to bed dreaming of paintball guns.
The good night of rest and time in air conditioning delivered happy campers in the morning. I sent them off again for another sunny and fun filled day. This evening when the boys were dropped off they bounced off the bus with light steps and beaming smiles.
"Today was AWESOME! We went horseback riding. My horses name was Chunk. And we paintballed. I was terrible! I hit the trees and some other things but not the target. We only got sandwiches for lunch today. I got to play on The Blob and we did the zip line but I didn't because it was creepy. It was up like THREE platforms!"
"Awesome! How about you Gabe? Did you get to do The Blob?"
"I did and it was totally rad! I couldn't hit the target on paintball at first but then I laid down on the ground and nailed it. Drew, next time use the sight and learn from your mistakes. If you hit too low then aim a little higher and if you hit too high, lower it a little more. My horse was named Chester. I got to ride him alone and I saw the horse in front of me poop and pee."
"So it was a good day?"
Yessss! (You can't see it but I'm doing my Happy Dance!)