Well, we went to camp last week. Youth (senior high) camp with a group we didn’t know. Dane was leading music and I was playing in the band and our dude was along for the ride. I (characteristically) stressed out about it and was a total Eeyore/Negative Nancy about everything beforehand, figuring naps were going to be difficult and bedtimes impossible and food questionable and the teenagers would just be running around all week doing things he wasn’t allowed to do and we would be playing guitars in front of his face twice a day but he would not be allowed to come to where we were, which has typically not gone over super well in the times he’s been brought into church services etc.
Or another way of looking at it is that I was a total Rabbit/Realistic Nancy (seriously I get that Rabbit is like the Grown-Up Who Is No Fun but he also is just trying to grow his own food all the time and Tigger goes and digs up all his carrots, and like, presumably Tigger [were he not stuffed] would just hunt and kill his food, which isn’t as much of an option for Rabbit, being herbivorous as he obviously is, and presumably Pooh [who manages to glut himself consistently in spite of being stuffed] is apparently content to bum honey off of everyone else, including [usually] Rabbit, so maybe Rabbit’s kind of a curmudgeon but to me it seems like he’s trying really hard to make a living and everybody else either goofs it up or mooches off him, so in a way I guess I kinda get the guy. [Girl??]*). I tried to prepare everything and make sure we had a few car ride activities, someone to hang out with him during music times, a nap the first day at ALL COSTS before the first super late bedtime, etc.
Anyway it was a blast. Our child who – need I remind you – is TWO, was walking up to like 17-yr-old boys all week and asking if he could PWAY soccer or football or frisbee or whatever, and he can now (in addition to being able to kick straight and true and far, and to throw like astonishingly well, and to make baskets in adult-sized basketball hoops) can throw a frisbee (no lie) and bump a volleyball. We also swam in the river, ate, went down the big slide, ate, canoed, ate, painted, ate, chased lizards, ate, made up this Spider-Man-web-shooting-freeze game thing, ate, and danced our little hearts out. In the middle of the amphitheater-shaped room full of teenagers. Well, he did. Just went at it, as soon as the music (myooskit) started.
I know one of these days the self-consciousness is going to kick in. I watch him walking up to these big boys, as bold as anything, and I watch him dancing in the middle of the room, and singing at the top of his lungs in the cafeteria, and I know one day he is going to be either too cool for it or not think he’s cool enough.
To that I say: boo.
I’m going to do my best to raise a kid who is both cool enough for everything, and not too cool for anything. Who picks out a pink $1 box at Michael’s for his car toys and loves it to pieces and doesn’t know or care what’s usually for boys and usually for girls. Who dances when he feels like dancing, dadgummit. Who jumps in and learns how to play the game, if he wants to, and just keeps trying until he gets it right. Who can run up to a group of total strangers and say “WASS YOUR NAME?” and be high-fiving them all in seconds, and then demand a KISSANNAHUG** before leaving their presence. Or who can run to his mommy and get a big, long snuggle if he wants one.
Middle school, you can’t have him. He will wade through your murky, labyrinthine, perilous bogs and you will try to tell him what he can and can’t do and be, but I’m telling you right now, you can’t have him. He’s rubber, you’re glue.
What I want him to be is kind, honest, generous, and diligent. I pray these things for my boy. That he will notice people who need help, and he will use his brilliant whip-smart mind and his big strong muscles to help other people. That he will always do what he says he will do. That he will use his charisma and self-confidence to lead other people to INCLUDE rather than leading other people to EXCLUDE.
So… this little person who came along almost 11 months ago like a hurricane, bobbing along with no feet on the ground and no real sense of self or home… I’m not sure where he went but this confident, hilarious, fast, clever, strong, sweet, friendly little guy is sure an astonishing ton of fun. It’s pretty incredible to think about the privilege and responsibility it is to raise this guy up.
*[And Owl totally hunts obviously, and Kanga seems to apparently sweep for a living since she is sweeping in exactly 100% of her scenes, but apparently it keeps food on the table for her and Roo so good on her, and Piglet apparently eats nothing and is tiny, but could probably just forage if he needs to, being a pig and all, and of course Christopher Robin is (OBVIOUSLY) an heir of some sort.]
**Yes, everything he says is automatically capslocked. Reasons for this should be fairly self-evident.